Overeem Goes Over Potential Ricco Rodriguez Fight
Strikeforce Heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem has finally come clean about the purported superfight that will pit him against Ricco Rodriguez at Dream 15. Apparently, Rodriguez’ dream of getting a crack at the Strikeforce championship will be just that—a dream.
Well, at least for now.
In a statement released by Overeem’s camp, the Dutch striker will not be staking his Strikeforce Heavyweight title against Rodriguez as reported, since the defending champion has neither verbally agreed to nor signed a bout agreement.
Overeem also pointed out that numerous media outlets had simply erroneously reported that he’d accepted a bout with Rodriguez, a former UFC heavyweight champion, for this Saturday’s event at the Super Saitama Arena.
In the statement, Overeem says: “I want to make it clear that I never verbally agreed to fight him and I never signed a bout agreement with Dream to fight him. I feel sorry for Ricco Rodriguez' camp if they still think the fight is on and I apologize to my fans that have bought a ticket to see me compete.”
Overeem further stated that he initially agreed to cut a U.S. media tour with Strikeforce short in mid June to accept a heavyweight title match that he was told would be against Belarusian fighter Andrei Arlovski.
Over the next two weeks, Overeem said his opponent changed numerous times, with the Japanese outfit throwing names such as Tim Sylvia and Ikuhisa Minowa as possible replacements.
In the end, Strikforce decided that the fight would not be for the title. This, according to Overeem, was confusing and disappointing, which ultimately led him to turn the bout down.
“With all the changes and the title fight no longer a possibility, I immediately turned down the opportunity,” said the Strikeforce Heavyweight champion, who is coming from an impressive first-round TKO victory over Brett Rogers last May.
Ricco Rodriguez would have to wait for his turn.
Nevertheless, with the Fabricio Werdum vs. Fedor Emelianenko fight over and done with, it is said that the champion will get to defend his title against either Werdum or Fedor. Overeem was in attendance at Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Werdum” last June 26 in San Jose, California.
But if reports are true, it seems that an Overeem vs. Fabricio is the fight that will most likely go down. And Overeem actually agrees.
On his Twitter page, Overeem himself had posted: “Congrats to Werdum for his amazing victory, he told the media he wants the belt so try to take it from me and fight me, rematch time!!!”
Following Fabricio Werdum’s miracle win over the seemingly untouchable Fedor, the Brazilian said: “Overeem is no problem next time. Overeem is the champion. Overeem give me my belt please.”
But then again, Fabricio Werdum is still open to a rematch with the man he had just recently defeated. “Next time, I’d like a re-match with Fedor,” Werdum said of his immediate future. “Maybe here (in San Jose), maybe in Russia – no problem. I like Fedor, (I'd) like for everybody to like Fedor. I’m a fan of Fedor, he’s the best in the world.”
Things are definitely looking up for M-1. Nevermind the reports that the outfit is panicking over Fedor’s stock going down. The Russian, after all, is their biggest cash cow prior to the fight against Werdum.
The trifecta of Overeem, Werdum, and Fedor would probably enough to keep Strikeforce in the fight against the likes of UFC and other mixed martial arts promotions. Throw in Ricco Rodrigues and you really have something, don’t you think?
So whatever Strikeforce strikes up next, be sure to tune in.