The hype about the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament, particularly about Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem, took a big blow last night at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum. Overeem took a unanimous decision over Fabricio Werdum, the "Fedor Slayer", but he didn't impress in the process.
I wrote a piece at SBNation comparing the Strikeforce field to the top two UFC heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. Here's a sample:
Against the likes of Velasquez or dos Santos, Overeem would need the cardio to go at least three hard rounds both standing and grappling. Overeem may have added a lot of raw power, but that kind of muscle burns oxygen like Charlie Sheen burns bridges. It's pretty easy to imagine either Cain or dos Santos dragging him into deep water and picking him apart in the later rounds.
Barnett won his opening round bout against Brett Rogers in decisive fashion via second round submission, but still drew boos from the crowd for his methodical approach. Barnett looked competent on his feet and is, without doubt, a master of the grappling arts but either Velasquez or JDS could outstrike him and prevent the fight from going to the floor.
Antonio Silva and Sergei Kharitonov, the two men who've been awaiting Overeem and Barnett since February, aren't giving the UFC heavyweights nightmares either. Silva looked impressive battering and beating down the vaunted Fedor Emelianenko, but it hasn't been that long since he got beat up by tournament loser Fabricio Werdum. Both Velasquez and dos Santos would have significant speed advantages over the Brazilian giant and neither should have problems keeping the fight on the feet.
What's your take? Who's the best heavyweight in MMA?