Not only is Strikeforce having a Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament, but the champion Alistair Overeem is in the quarter-final and his Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship Belt is also on the line.
So...assuming Overeem advances to the finals, his heavyweight title will have been defended twice already? He risks losing his belt 3 times during this tournament? That's some crazy shit, but I must say, I am very excited anyway!
So one of the four quarter-final matches will showcase a rematch between Overeem and Werdum of their first fight in Pride FC back in 2006, which ended with Werdum submitting Overeem via kimura.
Werdum has recently stated via twitter that he "is not happy with the rematch" because he would rather rematch Fedor Emelianenko, whom he decisively beat last year via triangle submission. He goes on to say that he will definitely beat Overeem again so that the Fedor rematch can happen:
"I’ll catch him again, you can bet on it. I’ll beat him with my game plan and smartness. I wouldn’t like to give Overeem this rematch, I’m just fighting because the event matched this fight. To Fedor I’ll give this rematch happily, because I like him and he deserves this rematch. But first I have to think about how I’ll beat Overeem so that rematch can happen."
Werdum seems to really believe that Strikeforce has set this match up for PPV revenue, so that ultimately you will see him face Fedor and that Overeem is just an easy beat to warm up to the Fedor match. Does anyone else besides me think that Werdum is way over his head here? Why does he think Overeem will be a piece of cake?
Maybe because he's beaten Overeem before, but cmon, that was in 2006 before Overeem was even a real heavyweight and way before he has become the monster that he is today. Both men have made huge accomplishments and have evolved as fighters since 2006, but let's have a look and compare the two:
Werdum since 2006 has lost to Minotauro Nogueira, lost to Arlovski, finished Gonzaga and Vera via TKO, was knocked out via uppercut by JDS, gone on to submit Mike Kyle and beat Bigfoot Silva, and then did the seemingly impossible by submitting Fedor Emelianenko, giving the Russian his first true loss of entire career. Pretty impressive right?
Now on to Overeem. The man was stopped 3 times in a row by Lil Nog, Ricardo Arona, Shogun, goes on to lose one more time to Kharitonov by KO (who is also in the quarterfinals against Arlovski). This looks pretty bad doesn't it? WRONG! Alistair moves on to dominate Paul Buentello and becomes the Strikeforce Heavyweight champ, knocks out Lee Tae-Hyun in Dream 4, submits Mark Hunt in Dream 5, dominates Cro Cop before a no-contest was issued due to a groin shot, kimuras Gary Goodridge, goes to K-1 to knock out Badr Hari and defeats Peter Aerts (two of the most dominant forces in K-1), knocks out Fujita, TKO's Brett Rogers (also in the quarterfinals) to defend his Strikeforce belt, wins the 2010 K-1 Grand Prix tournament, and then knocks out Todd Duffee to win the Dream heavyweight Interim belt.
Overeem has a belt in Strikeforce, K-1, and now Dream. I don't think Werdum will get the submission this time. In fact, I think Werdum may just get KTFO and sleep on the mat as far as the ground game goes in this match-up!