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Alistair Overeem responds to challenge from Fedor Emelianenko

Survey a group of knowledgeable MMA fans about the prospect of Fedor Emelianenko squaring off with Alistair Overeem in a Strikeforce cage and nearly every one will tell you it’s a match-up they would love to see take place. Survey the lot of people in Emelianenko’s camp and you’d probably get a different story – at least until recently.

The iconic Russian heavyweight recently broke from past form in a statement through M-1 Global, tossing aside his desire for an immediate rematch with Fabricio Werdum and instead mentioning interest in facing Overeem before the end of the year.

However, as they saying goes, “it takes two to tango,” and Emelianenko’s requested dance-partner is not only unavailable until 2011, he’s simply not interested in fighting “The Last Emperor” after watching Werdum submit him in the first round this past June.

Overeem spoke to MMAFighting about Emelianenko’s recent challenge through the media where he said he’d prefer to maintain order in Strikeforce’s heavyweight division by instead fighting Werdum and has already committed to a K-1 tournament possessing the potential of keeping him busy until December.

“I’ve stated many times that Strikeforce was my number one priority, but after Fedor lost to Werdum, I had no intention of fighting somebody other than Werdum. I came to the States to challenge the winner of the fight and that was Werdum, so no need to fight somebody else,” the Dutch striker explained. “Furthermore, I like K-1 very much and there are not many opportunities to stay fighting in K-1, so I want to fight if I still can. One of my goals is to be K-1 champion and this is my chance.”

Overeem continued, “You can debate if I’m the number one in Strikeforce using results of the past, but the fact remains that Fedor signed with Strikeforce and chose Werdum instead of me. We all know that in every organization Fedor is more than welcome to fight straight for the belt due to his stature and experience, but if his management decided that they would like a tune-up fight and then Werdum before fighting me they are taking a risk. Fighting in a organization is just the same as climbing a ladder. If you lose, you will fall a couple of steps down and if you win you go up. It’s not fair to other fighters that are climbing the same ladder. So to make a long story short, I’m the champion, which means I’m number one, not based on ranking but because I’m wearing the belt.

Number two is clearly Werdum because of his win over Fedor and Antonio Silva. Fedor losing means he’s number three and Antonio Silva, who came back from a loss against Werdum by defeating (Andrei) Arlovski is clearly the number four. So in that case, Fedor should fight Silva and the winner of that fight should fight against the winner of a bout between myself and Werdum. It’s just that simple — it’s not rocket science.”

Fortunately, though he has ruled the fight out for 2010, he is still open to the idea of stepping into the ring against Emelianenko at some point in the future. When asked whether or not he believed the fight would ever happen, Overeem responded, “If Fedor stays in Strikeforce and beats Antonio Silva and I win my fight against Werdum, then there is a big possibility that I will face him. So I still think I will meet him in the cage eventually.”

Overeem is 33-11 as a professional Mixed Martial Artist and has won his last eight bouts. He holds notable victories in his career over Mark Hunt, Sergei Kharitonov, Vitor Belfort, and most recently beat Brett Rogers via TKO in the first round of their fight at “Strikeforce – Heavy Artillery” last May.

  • Rece Rock says:

    This whole thing is tiring & ridiculous…guess there will be more negotiations going on…

  • Rece Rock says:

    and after that more negotiations

  • MCM says:

    I read this when you posted it in another thread Rece. Just his use of basic common sense is making me a fan of Overeem. Hopefully Coker gets his balls back and tells M-1 that Fedors next fight is Bigfoot and if they don’t like it their in breech of contract and can f*off.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I hear ya MCM…As much as I complain about SF and Co. I would love to see them be just as successful as Zuffa but that’s why I also get so passionate about their failures because they just seem to never get it together… I understand there is other factors and logistics other than SF but that’s why when everybody makes fun of DW and his persona and business practices I say they are wrong because if Coker had a quarter of the balls DW has then his co. would not be in such cross roads time & time again. Strong leadership is essential.

  • MCM says:

    werd Rece.

    SF used to be a great org. They may not have had top guys but they put on really good shows and for awhile were building there own stable of fighters. But once they joined up with M-1 it seams like their business sense went out the window. This is Coker’s chance to get back on track and as a fan of MMA I’m really hoping he does it.

    I said it at the time and I’ll say it again, the only org that can handle the train wreck that is Fedor/M-1 is the UFC. Every other organization that Fedor has fought for has folded. Affliction, Bodog, PRIDE, Rings, Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye. I really hope I don’t have to add Strikeforce to that list.

  • Spoken says:

    is nobody seeing the hypocrisy here? did he not just fight brett rogers for the title? at the time, brett was coming off a loss to fedor, correct? so he’ll refuse a fight with fedor, coming off his 1st legit loss in 30+ fights, but he’ll fight rogers who was 11-1 coming off a loss with his only impressive accomplishment being a tko over arlovski. fuck that.

  • stone says:

    A.O. Is scared of Fedor… He knows the lost to Werdum was a fluke and he lucked out! We all know Fedor is the only real HW threat in Strikeforce… The Reem sure took the fight against Rogers in a heartbeat. None of these guys except Fedor could even hang in the UFC’s HW divisoion.

  • MCM says:

    Overeem wanted to fight Fedor, but Fedor chose to fight Werdum. He would have fought Werdum too but since Werdum already had a win over Allistair he chose to fight Fedor. Who did that leave for Overeem to fight? Bigfoot, he had just lost to Werdum. Arlovski had just lost to Rogers and Rogers had just lost to Fedor. 3 guy coming off a loss, but since Rogers wasn’t already booked and lost to the best HW on the planet he was the most logical choice being that Fedor and Werdum were tied up. Rogers was the “best of the rest” as they say.
    Besides, Fedor has been with Strikforce for 2 fights now and this is the first time he’s called out Overeem and only after M-1 said that Fedors final fight on his contract would be only against Werdum. The case can be made for Overeem ducking Fedor, but there is just as strong a case, in not stronger, for Fedor ducking Overeem. Didn’t M-1 say the they wouldn’t fight Allisair because of the roid rumors, that’s why Fedor fought Rogers?

  • stone says:

    Alistar should just be a real champ and say “Hell, there’s only about 5 decent HW’s here in SF, I want all of them”. I believe a true champ will fight whoever the organization can throw at him. I’m about sick of all these fighters in SF and the UFC trying to call out or pick there next fight! That’s total crap! The fighters aren’t the match makers… In some cases its cool like when Leben called out Wand, because in that case Leben is not only stepping up but, he’s simply calling out the person he substituted for in the fight! In most cases it seems like fighters are simply calling out other fighters they feel they got the upperhand on. Sounds like some shit Tito would do… Right or wrong?

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    You forget Overeem, this is Strikeforce. The loser of the #1 contender match gets to fight for the title. Just admit you are afraid of Fedor, just say it. You want to fight Werdum because you know if he gets a win, it will most likely be by submission that you can tap out of before you get hurt so you can still run back to fighting cans in Japan. If Fedor gets you where he wants you, you know that you will get seriously hurt. We know, we know.


    Fedor will destroy Alistair-Losing to Werdum was a fluke-Wait and see

  • Niv says:

    Personally I think it’s unfair and disrespectful to Werdum’s achievment to call his win a fluke. He’s a high level BJJ fighter and he pulled of a high level submission against the best fighter ever.

    Having said that I do believe that Fedor would win 9 out of 10 times here, and Overeem would get pummelled by Fedor.

    Now the Fedor ducking Overeem part is dubious as well because Overeem initially wanted a fight and then backed out himself to fight K1 in April. He said he needed a good camp to prepare for Fedor. Of course a fight needed to be made in SF and Werdum/ Fedor was done for June. Either way Overeem has made claims that Fedor’s been ducking him since Pride, that alone is laughable.

    I don’t believe Overeem ever fought at HW in Pride and certainly wouldn’t have been even close to a threat to him back then.

  • CQBRA03 says:

    Overeem fighting Fedor now is anti-climactic and does anyone REALLY want to see him fight Werdum? He needs to pull a Jake Sheilds and go fight where the REAL top guys are! Who wouldn’t want to see Alistair fight Brock, Junior, Carwin, Kongo, Cain, Nog…..ect, ect.

  • LiverPunch says:

    Overeem has potential but I will list the top 10 fighters he has a winning record over in his HW career Rogers and … O.K. I will list the top 20 fighters he has a winning record at HW Rogers, and … O.K. the top 30 Rogers and … Well there is Fujita who has lost 5 from his last 7 and Thomson and Goodridge who have both lost approx 12 of their last 15 oh and Hunt who has now lost 5 in a row.
    Although he has obvious potential he is a fraud in many respects. He says SF is his first priority but it isn’t is it?. He didn’t defend a title (which he beat a lowly ranked journeyman to get) for 2 years and then comes in a starts saying Fedor should fight me. Well no, Werdum was ranked higher and had a win over you Overeem whilst amassing his impressive resume and you were just trying to crash the party. Is it any coincidence that Werdum said he had no interest in fighting Overeem for the title after beating Fedor? it shows what standing and respect he has amongst his peers.
    Overeem needs to fight class opponents to earn a shot at Fedor or Werdum in my opinion. Yes officially he is the champ but in reality he isn’t and all of the top HW’s know it and so do half of the posters here. It is handy to have material to attack Fedor and M1 with for many but in their heart of hearts they know that Overeem is Overrated at the moment and is as MMA logic stated throwing stones from his glass house.

    P.S. Hey Rece..

  • Rece Rock says:


    Guess we will just have to wait and see how this plays out over the next year or so… I have a feeling we will see M-1 & Fedors true colors much easier…I hope to see a title fight for fedor before he departs from SF but I doubt it.

  • MCM says:

    you make some valid points LP, but the fact is Overeem has the belt and that makes him #1 in Strikeforce. The other fighters in SF may feel that he is beneath them then it is their job to take the belt away. If you read the rest of what he has to say (not posted here) he states that he has nothing bad to say about Fedor just M-1. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t have a bad thing to say about M-1.
    Maybe he wouldn’t deserve a fight with Fedor or Werdum if he didn’t hold the belt, but since he does, everything he’s saying makes pretty good sense. Besides, it not just his word as everything he has stated about M-1 has been pretty well documented by third parties.


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