As we rapidly approach the two year anniversary of the Strikeforce heavyweight championship having not been defended, current title-holder Alistair Overeem has recently been announced to compete in a K-1 (kickboxing) event in September, with the possibility of a second in December.
K-1 recently announced Overeem as on of the contestants in the K-1 2009 World Grand Prix Final 16. He will face off with fellow Dutchman Peter “The Lumberjack” Aerts on September 26 for an opportunity to enter the final round which will be hosted in December.
Shockingly, Overeem is also expected to face off with a formidable opponent in Mighty Mo, Siala-Mou Siligia, during a separate kickboxing event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Golden Glory Fight Team set for Amsterdam on October 17.
Meanwhile, the Strikeforce heavyweight crown which Alistair holds claim to has gone undefended since the “Demolition Man” obtained it back in November of 2007, finishing Paul Buentello with a series of vicious knee strikes to the body. Since that time the bulk of the mixed martial arts Overeem has took part in has been for the DREAM promotion, where he has fought three times before meeting up with Gary Goodridge just before the end of 2008 at an MMA event in Holland.
Of course, Overeem has been scheduled to defend the title in the past. In June he was set to face off with Brett Rogers, and then again in August against Fabricio Werdum. Both times the fight had to be scratched at the last moment due to a hand injury suffered during a night club brawl in Holland. Yet apparently the hand must have made an astonishing recovery in the last couple of weeks since he was set to defend the Strikeforce title on August 15, as he has a full line-up of bouts scheduled in kickboxing throughout the duration of the year.
So what’s really going on with Mr. Overeem? Will we have the privilege of seeing the Strikeforce heavyweight strap being defended sometime before 2010? I would direct the question at Strikeforce, but at this point it’s painfully obvious that the ball lies firmly in Overeem’s court as to when we will see his championship obligations honored.
My suggestion would be to schedule Overeem to defend his title against Werdum on the same card that Fedor Emelianenko will be facing off with Brett Rogers. If, for whatever reason, Alistair can’t take part in the bout, strip him and make Fedor vs. Rogers a title fight. None of these interim shenanigans. Strikeforce needs their champions. Absentee belt-holders do nothing to help their cause, and their championships deserve better than that.