Last week it was announced that the semi-finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand-Prix are now set to commence on September 10th, but in an interview with Ariel Helwani earlier today on ‘The MMA Hour’ one of the participants, Alistair Overeem, dropped the bombshell that he may not be competing in it.
Overeem, the current Strikeforce heavyweight champion, was set to face Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in one of the semi-finals, but according to the Dutch fighter he had previously agreed to fight in October, and he doesn’t want to fight any earlier than that as it will not give him enough time to prepare and recover from some recent injuries.
It’s not the first time that Overeem has played hardball with Strikeforce. For instance it’s not that long ago that he spent two and a half years away from the promotion despite being their champion.
The difference now is that the UFC’s parent company Zuffa are in control of Strikeforce, and they are unlikely to put up with this kind of disruption. In fact Overeem reveals that Zuffa have already threatened to kick him out of the tournament if he does not agree to fight in September.
Overeem says he is now considering taking a fight for a different promotion in October if he can’t come to an agreement with Zuffa.
So it’s clearly a tense situation that’s developing and with Overeem being the biggest name fighter left in the grand-prix if he is pulled from it then it would be a massive blow that would be hard to recover from.