While I am disappointed to hear the news Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Championship will not be on the line during the upcoming Grand Prix Tournament, I am looking forward to the event. Am I looking forward to it as much as I was last week? Honestly, I think I am. I agree with everybody that the belt being defended three times over the course of the three rounds would be fun, but I’m still looking forward to seeing Alistair Overeem fight Fabricio Werdum belt or no belt.
I am not sure what to think of Overeem. He has been on an amazing run of late, but it’s hard to overlook the fact he’s lost to the biggest names on his record, a lot of those coming by way of knockout. What Overeem will we see? Will it be the guy who crushed Todd Duffee and Brett Rogers, or the guy knocked out by Sergei Kharitonov? I don’t know, and that’s a big reason I’m looking forward to the tournament. Are there really people out there who don’t want to see Overeem fight Fedor if the belt isn’t on the line?
I don’t know what happened in those final meetings that led to this decision. Scott Coker claims he didn’t want different rules for different fights, and that certain states would not sanction five round non-title fights. Sounds good, but it doesn’t hold water when you read Josh Gross on ESPN.com. Gross interviewed a handful of commissions who said the opposite, they would in fact sanction five round fights across the board……… had they been asked.
It’s easy to sit here and play Monday morning quarterback, but had the decision been made that all tournament fights were five rounds, that really could have been cool. Either way the tournament is going to feature some great fights, and should have match-ups that we’ve waited a long time to see. Fedor vs. “Big Foot” Silva is a fight I can’t wait to see, and having the fight take place so close to New York City can only make it better.
If I have to make a selection, give me Fedor. I know he is coming off the loss to Werdum, but I love watching Fedor fight. I have been lucky enough to see some of the biggest names in boxing fight live and the energy for a Oscar De La Hoya or Mike Tyson fight is off the charts. It was a similar feeling seeing Fedor. I was in the arena the night “The Last Emperor” knocked out Andrei Arlovski, and the thing I remember most is the total lack of expression on Fedor’s face the entire time. He reminded me of Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. From the first bell to the final seconds, he looked like a guy who just woke up. (A little different than Jason “Mayhem”Miller!) He is a throwback, and if you look at the guys who wear Clinch Gear, he fits the mold of our typical athlete. Guys that let their fists do the talking….Fedor will let his fists do the talking beginning Febuary the 12th. Time will tell how strong a message they can still deliver.