Strikeforce Heavy Artillery Post-Fight Analysis: Alistair Overeem Earns Shot at Fedor Emelianenko

Photo by Dave Mandel for Sherdog

Some quick thoughts as I cope with my morning after aches and pains:

  • Alistair Overeem silenced this doubter. I never expected him to bully Brett Rogers around the cage like that. Overeem has definitively earned a shot at the world's #1 heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko.
  • Antonio Silva looked remarkably improved in his deconstruction of former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski.
  • As for Arlovski, he's entered the kind of career death spiral that will be impossible to pull out of and reattain his previous heights. He's liable to continue to pick up wins at a fairly high level, but he won't be regarded as a top 10 heavyweight again without an amazing resurgence. If Fedor beats Werdum, a rematch between Arlovski and Werdum would make sense for Strikeforce, but I was managing Arlovski I'd hold out for a pure tune up fight instead.
  • Jacare Souza needs to beef up his conditioning. It appears he's making remarkable strides in his striking and wrestling games, but this is leaving his submission game at less than its most dangerous. In fairness, Villesenor is an infamously tough tap-out. Jacare should challenge for Jake Shields' title soon, whether Shields bothers to stay around to defend it or not.
  • Feijao Calvancante has remerged as a credible light heavyeight on the rise. He'll likely get his chance against Strikeforce champ Muhammad "King Mo" Lawal in his next fight. It's a great fight, but both fighters will be penalized because neither gets the respect their merit from MMA fans and analysts.
  • Roger Gracie needs to dramatically improve his game. From the dramatic shift in his pre- and post-fight talk about his training (pre-fight: I work 80% of my time on my jiu jitsu; post-fight: I train the jab three hours a day) I think he was trying to snow Randleman into expecting him to have no game on his feet. Instead he has a very weak and limited game on his feet. Gracie has potential because of his height and BJJ skills but he will need to be brought along slowly. Strikeforce is a good place for him because of their weak 205lb division.
  • This was a much much more entertaining card than Strikeforce's ill-fated CBS event last month.

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