Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery – Post Fight Thoughts

– Two and a half years was too long to wait, but Alistair Overeem certainly did his best to make up for lost time against Brett Rogers and finally gave Strikeforce another genuine star to promote alongside Fedor.

– The buzz now is for the long awaited Fedor Vs Overeem fight to happen later in the year.  Though M-1 Global’s initial reaction to the idea is encouraging I can’t help but think that once the fight with Fabricio Werdum is out the way, M-1 Global will once again be looking to ‘retool’ their existing contract with Strikeforce.

– What happened to Brett Rogers?  Against Fedor he looked fearless, but last night against Overeem he looked timid, was on the retreat from the opening bell, and generally looked as if he’d rather be anywhere else than in the cage with the fearsome striker.

– Speaking of strange performance, what about Andrei Arlovski?  Going into his fight with Antonio Silva the main doubts were over his chin and his mental attitude, not his fighting ability.  By the end of the three round encounter the opposite was true.

– After being knocked out twice in a row you would think that Arlovski would have worked hard on his defensive skills to ensure lightning didn’t strike for a third time.  Therefore it was baffling to see him staying right in front of Silva rather than circling, and dropping his hands practically to his waist after every punch or kick.

– This was a good night for Antonio Silva.  The win over Arlovski is certainly the biggest of his career to date and his  striking looked solid and he generally put in a more consistent performance than in his previous fight with Werdum.   I don’t feel he’s really a major threat to either Overeem or Fedor though.

– Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker apparently likes the idea of an Arlovski – Rogers rematch.  Personally I think the time is right to feed Arlovski an easier opponent to help him get back on track before he melts down completely, and in the mean time opt for a Rogers Vs Silva instead.

– ‘Jacare’ Souza’s performance wasn’t perfect, but I’m impressed with the improvements in his stand-up, and his takedowns were excellent.  I could certainly see him being a worthy future champion for Strikeforce at 185lbs, regardless of whether current champ Jake Shields stays or leaves for the UFC.

– Credit to Joey Villasenor for surviving on the ground with one of the most fearsome jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world.

–  Another submission specialist showing some stand-up skills was Roger Gracie who restored some pride for the Gracie name in MMA.  He used his reach well against Kevin Randleman, keeping him at bay with his jab.  Gracie doesn’t throw much weight into his punches, but he was dangerous with his knees.

–  Gracie seemed pleased with the victory, only his third in MMA competition, and hopefully it will spur him on to take the sport more seriously as he could be a very useful addition to the 205lb division.

–  Admittedly this was a bad match-up for Randleman given his susceptibility to submissions, but he has now lost three in a row, and with his record now standing at 17-15 you have to question how long the 38 year-old veteran can continue to take up space on the main card of Strikeforce events.

–  A decisive knockout win was exactly what Rafael ‘Feijao’ needed to put himself on the map at 205lbs.  I get the impression Scott Coker isn’t in a hurry to see him face current champion ‘King Mo’ just yet though.  The problem is they don’t have many other options at this time so it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

–  Lyle Beerbohm defeated ‘Shaolin’ in the undercard though the split decision win was apparently controversial.  I remain baffled as to why quality prelim fights like this don’t air on the main show as is the case with UFC and WEC events.  It’s not like they didn’t have space – they actually were well under their allotted time when they went off-air.

It’s a missed opportunity to give someone like Beerbohm some air-time to aid his transition to fighting on the main card of future events.

–  In general the Strikeforce commentary team was less than stellar once again in my opinion.

–  Overall it was a good show, though to my mind it wasn’t really firing on all cylinders until Overeem arrived.  His performance ensured that everyone went home happy though, and allows Strikeforce to move into their summer schedule with a spring in their step.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.