Rundown of Strikeforce ‘Overeem vs. Werdum’ post-fight news and notes…
— Strikeforce definitely wasn’t the big ticket in Dallas night. The card only drew 7,639 attendees for a $543,060 live gate. By comparison, UFC 103 drew 17,428 attendees for a $2.4 million live gate in the same arena.
— Say what you want about the organization, but Strikeforce rarely disappoints inside the cage. That was not the case with last night’s main event though. Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum put on what had to be the most frustrating Strikeforce fight in recent memory. Between Werdum’s back flopping and butt scooting and Overeem’s unwillingness to engage on the ground, it was just a terrible fight. I’ll put it this way. If that fight had happened in PRIDE, the ref would have run out of yellow cards.
“Well, I came here to knock him out… I trained hard for this fight, four months training camp. Yeah, I’m a little bit disappointed I couldn’t deliver on my promise to the fans and I apologize for that. But, you need two to tango and looking back at the fight, looking back at the total takedowns attempted, I can only come to the conclusion that Fabricio didn’t want to fight in the stand-up with me at all. Yeah, it was a little stalling in the fight on the ground and, um… Yeah, I got the win but I’m not entirely satisfied.”
Overeem was awarded the unanimous decision at the end of the night, but interestingly, the FightMetric stats actually said Werdum should have won. FightMetric is usually a useful resource, but I would suggest they retool their algorithm to deduct points for excessive guard flopping because there’s no way you can call Werdum a winner after that performance.
Actually, if there were any winners in that fight, I’d say it was Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. They firmly solidified themselves as #1 and #2 last night.
— Fans may have been disappointed in the main event, but Antonio Silva seemed to like what he saw last night. He’s more confident than ever that he’s going to win the grand prix.
“I told you before, if I beat Fedor, I would win this tournament,” Silva said at Saturday’s post-event press conference, which took place at Dallas’ American Airlines Center. “I promised my fans, I promised my family, and I’m going to win this tournament.”
— As most expected, Josh Barnett completely dominated Brett Rogers on the ground. It wasn’t the most thrilling fight to watch, but Barnett explained after the fight that he never intended it to be. In the tournament format, it was all about getting the win in the safest way possible.
“Once I got on top of him, it became a matter of making him drown underneath me – taking his wind, taking his spirit, taking his energy, and doing it without any sort of injury,” he said. “Because this is a tournament. I have another fight, and I have another fight after that. So it’s important to be very tactful and very strategic about you take these guys out.”
“I just decided not to open up,” he said. “I decided to keep it there, conserve energy, and ride heavy, heavy, heavy. Drive those hips through, take his guts, take his wind, and it’s a small thing. It’s not something that’s visible, and you can’t really see it to understand it.
“If I did open up, he’s going to open up, too. Yeah, I could probably catch him in something. But why take that opportunity with a big, explosive guy like that? Let him get thrashing about, and who knows what can happen.”
There were a lot of questions about Barnett before the fight, but it sure didn’t seem like he was missing any steps last night. After seeing Overeem fatigue after defending Werdum’s weak takedown attempts, I think Barnett has a realistic shot at winning the grand prix.
— Jorge Masvidal put on a heck of a performance against KJ Noons last night, but at the post-fight press conference, he played it off like it was just another fight.
“Just another fight,” he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I told every reporter that asked me: ‘Just another tough dude – I fought plenty of tough dudes.’”
Masvidal made it clear he wanted a title shot against Gilbert Melendez, but it’s unclear if he’ll get it. There are rumblings that Gilbert Melendez is trying to pull a Nick Diaz and find his way into the UFC and all Scott Coker would say is Melendez-Masvidal is a “frontrunner,” not a guaranteed fight.
“We’re not making an official announcement, but I think that’s going to be a frontrunner,” Coker said.
— The grand prix won’t be heading to California while Josh Barnett is still in the tournament. Scott Coker doesn’t think Barnett’s licensing issues with the CSAC will be worked out before the tournament concludes. Nothing is official yet, but word is the semi’s may take place in October and the finals in February.
— Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!