That didn’t take long. In response to a M-1 press release sent out earlier today declaring their desire to pit Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem against their prize possession Fedor Emelianenko, Overeem said thanks, but no thanks, I’ve already moved on.
In an interview with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, Overeem said he might have considered it if M-1 would have acted sooner instead of pursuing a rematch with Fabricio Werdum, but they didn’t. And since he couldn’t get a fight with Werdum either, he decided to enter the K-1 World Grand Prix instead.
Why isn’t your next fight going to be for Strikeforce?
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. 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.
Emelianenko has now said that he would like to fight you by the end of the year. Is that possible at this point?
No, unfortunately not. The reason is because if I enter the Final 16 and win, I will fight the K-1 Final in December. My decision was made because nothing was certain and Strikeforce and M-1 didn’t act fast enough when I made my decision to start K-1 training. Now I read on the internet that Fedor and his management want to fight me all of sudden. Do they really need two months of thinking and negotiating? I think it’s a little strange to be honest. If Fedor challenged me right after the fight it would have been something to take in consideration, but the M-1 management started to say that all the polls on several websites stated that people rather have a Fedor vs. Werdum rematch then a fight against me. There we have another lie by M-1 because every poll I have read stated the opposite and showed that everybody want to see Fedor versus me. Check their current poll at their own Web site (laughs).
Overeem went on to say he is not interested in a rumored fight with Antonio Silva either since Silva is clearly not the number one contender in the division. He thinks the match-ups should be based on the fighters’ recent records and standing in the division, and thus he should fight Werdum while Fedor fights Silva. Then the winners can fight each other, and if that happens to be him and Fedor, then he would be interested in fighting Fedor at that point.
As for M-1’s drug testing demands, Overeem’s manager Bas Boon shared his thoughts on that subject with Head Kick Legend.
In regards to GG and Overeem “ducking” the Olympic Style drug testing, “all bullsh*t” was Boon’s response. They will submit to drug tests like every other fighter on the card, which means they also are against certain fighters having certain treatment.
According to Boon, M-1 Global has no intentions of putting together an Alistair Overeem vs. Fedor Emelianenko bout according to their timeline of “late November or early December.” M-1 Global is currently putting together a fight against Josh Barnett at Dynamite!! 2010 at the end of December, according to Boon, and this seems like a desperation move by M-1 Global management now that their negotiation tactics of the past (stalling, demanding more money, threatening lawsuits, etc.) have been exposed and cannot hold up. So it seems that calling out Overeem for a fight in Strikeforce was a negotiation tactic to help grease the wheels on the possible Barnett fight.
Of course, now the question everyone’s asking is, if M-1 Global was demanding Olympic-style testing for Alistair Overeem, are they asking the same of Josh Barnett who already burned them once by testing positive for steroids days before their last scheduled fight?
Image via Sherdog