Werdum caught Overeem in a kimura and made him tap in their first match. Photo by Scott Petersen via MMA Weekly
Two-time BJJ world champion, two-time ADCC champion, and UFC and Pride veteran Fabricio Werdum shocked the world when he choked out Fedor Emelianenko in 2010. Now he'll challenge Alistair Overeem for the Strikeforce title in the first round of their heavyweight tournament.
He talked to Tatame about the fight:
Technically, your side of the key is stronger, is where the favorites are. Why do you think that Strikeforce matched the fights this way?
I believe they did it that way so that they can sell many pay-per-view subscriptions on the semifinals and on the finale. They're betting I'll beat Overeem and that Fedor beats Big Foot, because they know everybody wants that rematch. So, they want to guarantee a good semifinal so that they sell it out and they're betting on it. Who doesn't want to watch a rematch like this one?
Both Kharitoov and Arlovski has beaten you. Do you think about fighting them again?
What I think about is a rematch with Fedor. 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.
It says a great deal about the lack of legitimacy the Strikeforce heavyweight belt has that Werdum doesn't even care that he'll be the champ going into the second round of the tournament if he beats Overeem.
The genius of the Strikeforce tournament is it's allowing them to book the fights that they should have been booking anyway. Werdum beat Fedor and earned the title shot against Overeem -- whether he wants it or not.
Fedor was so dominant for so long that he deserves a shot at the title after only one win.
Antonio Silva will certainly deserve a title if he beats Fedor.
As for the weaker side of the bracket, if Josh Barnett, Andrei Arlovski, Sergei Kharitonov, or Brett Rogers picks up two wins, they'll be a credible challenger -- especially by Strikeforce standards.