A rundown of Strikeforce ‘Heavy Artillery’ post-fight news and notes…
— Strikeforce drew 8,136 attendees to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
— With Alistair Overeem demolishing Brett Rogers last night, everyone is talking about Alistair Overeem vs. Fedor Emelianenko. Scott Coker says not so fast though, Fedor still has to fight Fabricio Werdum on June 26.
“To be very honest, the situation with Fedor, who’s fighting on June 26, of course we have to wait and see what happens. Alistair has told me many times he would love to fight Fedor. He has called Fedor out in Japan. He’s looking forward to taking that fight, but that’s going to be something that we have to sit down with M-1 after the June 26 fight.”
“You can’t count Fabricio out,” Coker said. “I think for Fabricio, the time could be right for him to move forward. So when you look at that fight, it has to be something that M-1 and Strikeforce will sit down after that fight is over.”
“What amazes me tonight was how calm [Overeem] was,” Coker said. “He was so calm in the cage. Total control. Total domination. I know that we’ll be looking for the Fedor fight, I’m sure, in the future.”
Coker told Ariel Helwani they want the fight if Fedor beats Werdum, but he can’t guarantee it. Alistair will definitely be back in 2010 though regardless.
— Before the Rogers fight, Alistair Overeem said he wanted to fight Fedor after Rogers, and actually wanted to fight him last night, but M-1 declined. He reiterated his position after the fight, and wanted to make it clear that Fedor isn’t the problem, M-1 Global is.
“Fedor himself (is not ducking me),” Overeem explained. “Fedor himself is a true warrior, I respect him a lot, he’s a true champion … his management however, they have accused me of steroid use. They are ducking me, they are putting all sorts of barriers to not having the fight happen. They are the obstacle, Fedor is not the obstacle.”
And just because Overeem handled Rogers much easier than Fedor did, Overeem doesn’t think that will give him any psychological advantage over Fedor should they fight.
“It’s a different fight,” he said. “When Fedor fights me, he’s going to be really sharp. He’s clever. I think he’s too sober. He’s not going to be mentally scared because I beat Brett in three minutes.”
— Is M-1 an obstacle like Overeem alleges though? Not if you ask M-1 Global exec Evgeni Kogan.
“As we’ve mentioned in the past, Fedor fights whoever is put in front of him,” Kogan today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “If Overeem is presented by the Strikeforce matchmakers as Fedor’s next opponent, then that is who Fedor is going to fight.”
“At this point Fedor is choosing not to look past Fabricio,” Kogan said. “He is in the most intense part of his training camp in Stary Oskol right now and would like for it to be known that he is focused 100 percent on Werdum.
“The camp considers Werdum a very strong and dangerous opponent – as Fedor’s brother found out a few years ago – and all attention is currently on June 26 and San Jose.”
“I thought [Overeem] won in very impressive fashion,” Kogan said. “We respect Alistair as an opponent and think that this would be a great potential matchup.”
If that’s the case then the only obstacle standing in the way of Fedor-Overeem is Fabricio Werdum. If Fedor beats him, does this mean there’s actually a possibility that the process to book Fedor vs. Overeem will be quick and painless?
— Alistair Overeem is ready to put all the steroid talk behind him. He believes his critics will be silenced now that he’s been tested in the US.
“For me it was just a matter of time,” Overeem said. “Of course people are going to speculate, but it was a matter of time before I fought here, and I would just do the drug testing like everyone else. When I pass that, all the critics will be silenced.”
“I know there are some individuals who are responsible for these allegations, and all these individuals are in some way associated with an opponent I beat or personally dislike me for some reason,” Overeem said. “Then you’ve got the rumors spreading. But like I said, it’s people that don’t like me for some reason – of course they’re going to be against me.
“It’s just a matter of time. I’m going to defend my title, and I’m going to do the drug testing like everybody else. Once that’s clear, we’re done with that.”
— Scott Coker says Andrei Arlovski will be back with the promotion despite his three-fight losing streak. A rematch with Brett Rogers could be next.
“I thought he fought a great fight,” said Coker. “We look forward to having him back and this is just the beginning for Andrei and Strikeforce.”
Coker told Sherdog.com that the promotion is already considering a rematch between Arlovski and Brett Rogers, who fell to heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem’s first-round punches in the evening’s main event.
— Cris “Cyborg” Santos will defend her women’s middleweight title against Jan Finney on June 26 as Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Werdum.” She’s 8-7 with notable losses to Erin Toughill, Miesha Tate, Shayna Baszler and Julie Kedzie (3x). She’s currently riding on a four-fight win streak, but I’m not too optimistic about her chances against Cyborg.
— Coker seems to want Rafael “Feijao” to fight Mike Kyle again before putting him in a title fight with King Mo.
— Coker doesn’t have an update on Jake Shields — he expects to talk to his management this week — but says Jacare is “in the mix” for the Strikeforce middleweight title. Coker wants to see how Robbie Lawler does against Babalu on June 16 as well before laying out the middleweight title picture.
— Coker was impressed with Roger Gracie’s performance against Kevin Randleman. He plans to put him on another card sometime after the summer.
— We didn’t see it, but Lyle Beerbohm’s split decision win over Vitor Ribeiro was controversial. It seems many in attendance thought it was a bad decision, but Coker couldn’t comment because he didn’t see the whole fight.
— Josh Thomson could face Lyle Beerbohm on the Fedor-Werdum card if Beerbohm is healthy enough to take it. Beerbohm injured his arm in the Ribeiro fight.
— Tim Kennedy will return to action at Strikeforce “Los Angeles.” He doesn’t have an opponent yet.