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Making the Case for Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum as Legit Challengers for Fedor Emelianenko

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Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem is being called the best striker in MMA.
Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem is being called the best striker in MMA.

Michael David Smith lays out an interesting argument:

Overeem beat Peter Aerts at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 in Seoul, advancing to the Final 8 of the world's foremost kickboxing organization. Werdum won the heavyweight title at ADCC 2009, the biggest no-gi grappling competition in the world.

That doesn't mean much of anything for Overeem's or Werdum's rankings in the MMA heavyweight landscape, because kickboxing and grappling aren't MMA. But it does mean something for Strikeforce: It means that in addition to being able to say they have the best heavyweight fighter in MMA in Fedor Emelianenko, they can also credibly say they have the best heavyweight striker in MMA and the best heavyweight grappler in MMA.

And for those who were worried by Alistair Overeem's manager Bas Boon's remarks calling M-1 Global various names and implying that his client wouldn't be fighting for Strikeforce anytime soon, MMA Convert updates the story:

Alistair Overeem’s manager and Golden Glory head, Bas Boon, dropped a bomb on us a couple weeks ago when he called M-1 ‘a bunch of crooks’ and insinuated Alistair wouldn’t fight on any Strikeforce/M-1 Global co-promoted cards.

And the good news is Bas says all the bad blood between him and M-1 won’t get in the way of this fight happening as long as the money is agreed upon and guaranteed.

I will never take an opportunity from a fighter to fight Fedor especially if the money is right and guaranteed. But there is an old bill to settle, everybody knows the story:

Please understand that I will always support and agree with Alistair [Overeem] or any other Golden Glory fighters to fight against Fedor at any time any place…as long as the money is agreed upon and guaranteed. It does not matter if the fight takes place is in Russia, Holland, Japan, America or any other country.

This is very good news for Strikeforce and MMA fans. Sure I'd much rather be seeing Fedor vs Brock Lesnar next, but if Strikeforce can succeed in matching up Fedor with Rogers, Werdum and Overeem they will be providing a legitimate roster of opponents for MMA's #1 heavyweight.