Alistair Overeem’s next fight is lined up, but it won’t be against Fabricio Werdum, Fedor Emelianenko or anyone who is expected to present him with much of a challenge. Assuming bout agreements get signed, Alistair will take on Ricco Rodriquez at DREAM.15.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the promotion that Overeem (33-11 MMA, 3-0 DREAM) has verbally agreed to face former UFC champion Ricco Rodriguez (42-11 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) at DREAM.15.
Bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly, and a formal announcement for the heavyweight contest should come soon after.
Yes, this is the same Ricco Rodriguez who earlier in his career won a UFC championship and beat Randy Couture, but later fell off the cliff of relevancy with a string of weight and drug problems that oddly enough landed him on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab. While you probably haven’t heard about it, Ricco has been on a comeback trail of sorts with seven straight wins in the past year. Of course, the chances of that streak extending to eight with Alistair Overeem in his path are slim, but as we learned this past weekend, anything is possible.
In other DREAM.15 fight booking news, Jake O’Brien is expected to take the final spot in DREAM’s 4-man light heavyweight grand prix against Gegard Mousasi. It’s an interesting choice of opponents for Mousasi considering how he struggled with King Mo’s wrestling back in April.
Image via Sherdog
Update: There seems to be a little confusion about the Alistair Overeem vs. Ricco Rodriguez fight. According to a report on MMA Fighting, Alistair Overeem’s camp says the fight isn’t happening.
However, a source close to Overeem told MMA Fighting that the fight isn’t close to being official and that there is a “90%” chance that Overeem won’t be fighting on the card altogether.In addition, Overeem’s trainer, Martijn de Jong, told The Fight Show‘s Mauro Ranallo Thursday afternoon that Overeem is “definitely not” fighting Rodriguez at DREAM.15.
The trainer added that Overeem is currently in Sweden, and his camp will officially decide whether he will fight on the card Friday.
DREAM and Rodriguez’s camp both maintain the fight was agreed upon and bout agreements were sent out. Doesn’t sound like they should expect Overeem to return his.