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‘Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum’ Aftermath — All We Know Is That We Don’t Know

Yeah, we were praying for something to happen in that fight, too.

Heading into last night’s Strikeforce card, there were a lot of potential storylines. There was Werdum continuing to clean out Strikeforce’s heavyweight division. There was Overeem avenging his loss to Werdum five years ago in devastating fashion. There were the returns to relevance of Josh Barnett and Jeff Monson, the rise of Daniel Cormier and “Othereem” getting the fans to learn his name. Yet after the event was over, the most compelling thing we can take from it is that Dallas has some educated MMA fans. While your average Affliction clad meathead was booing from the start of Cormier vs. Monson until the end of the night, Dallas fans only booed during Overeem vs. Werdum.

Normally I hate when fans boo fighters, but to say Overeem vs. Werdum was boo-worthy doesn’t begin to capture what a disappointment the main event was.  We expected fireworks, and instead were given an even less relevant version of Silva vs. Leites (at least that fight was for a title). If that fight was under the UFC banner, Dana White would have immediately issued an apology to the fans and a threat to fire Werdum over another performance like that. To say the least, Werdum’s chances of getting back into the UFC were more than likely squashed by that fight three round Thales Leites impression.

Werdum stuck to his “punch punch flop” strategy despite getting the better of Overeem in multiple standup exchanges. For that matter, FightMetric actually gave Werdum the fight, 29-28. So does that mean Werdum got robbed? Of course not. You’re judged by aggression, and Werdum showed absolutely none through his unwillingness to do anything other than flop. Say what you want about Overeem’s performance, but it’s not his fault that he didn’t blindly pounce into Werdum’s guard, especially after Werdum’s victory over Fedor. The bottom line is, if you’re strategy is going to be “beat him on the ground”, then it’s your responsibility to get the fight to the ground. It’s not your opponent’s responsibility to play to your strengths. Perhaps we’ll find out more about Overeem when he’s fighting Antonio Silva. Or when he’s actually fighting in a meaningful fight with Strikeforce. You know, where his title is on the line against a credible opponent. I digress.

It’s hard to get too excited about Josh Barnett’s victory over Brett Rogers as well. Yes, Josh Barnett looked as dominant as ever, slamming Rogers and rendering him an oversized grappling dummy. As we knew he would. It’s not like a victory over Bret Rogers has ever meant too much, especially considering he was coming into this fight on a two fight skid in Strikeforce and most recently lost a round to Warpath. Considering Sergei Kharitonov’s struggles against good wrestlers, it’s doubtful that Barnett’s fight with him will answer any questions we have about Barnett, either. At least we know that Josh Barnett can still be counted on for a ridiculous post fight interview, so there’s that I guess.

If there was one positive, slightly unexpected surprise from last night, it was Jorge Masvidal’s performance against KJ Noons. Jorge Masvidal made KJ Noons ineligible for “matinee idol of this sport”, if that’s even a real thing. Masvidal thoroughly outclassed Noons, taking him down at will and getting the better of most of the standup exchanges. A title shot against Melendez makes sense for Masvidal after a performance like this.

On a final note, Cormier and Griggs were both victorious last night, but neither guy’s victory says as much about them as it does about their opponents. I hate to say it, but Jeff Monson looked absolutely lost in the cage with Daniel Cormier. His striking would spike any boxing coach’s blood pressure, and he couldn’t even attempt to get Cormier in his guard. It’s hard to tell whether this was a testament to Daniel Cormier’s time at AKA, or just the result of Jeff Monson not fighting against elite heavyweights for years. Now might be a good time to think about that drop to 205 for Jeff Monson, especially if he plans on staying in Strikeforce. Likewise, Valentijin Overeem pretty much gave up as soon as Griggs took him down. Give credit to Griggs for getting the stoppage, but it doesn’t exactly show us anything.

Full Results, courtesy of MMAMania.com:

Main Card:

Alistair Overeem def. Fabricio Werdum via unanimous decision
Josh Barnett def. Brett Rogers via submission (arm triangle choke) at 1:11 round two
Jorge Masvidal defeats K.J. Noons via unanimous decision
Daniel Cormier def. Jeff Monson via unanimous decision
Chad Griggs def. Valentijn Overeem via TKO at 2:08 round one

Preliminary Card:

Gesias Cavalcante vs. Justin Wilcox results in a no contest because of an accidental eye poke in round two
Conor Heun def. Magno Almeida via unanimous decision
Nah-Shon Burrell def. Joe Ray via unanimous decision
Todd Moore def. Mike Bronzoulis via unanimous decision
Isaac Vallie-Flagg def. Brian Melancon via split decision

Cagepotato Comments

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HackneysHeros- June 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm
I love that picture of Fabricio Verdum. He looks like the head of the human centapede.
rearnakedchickenchoke- June 20, 2011 at 6:31 am
Silva vs. Leites - good call. That's what I was thinking the whole time. Boring as shit ass-flopping action. And Overeem was too worried about going to the ground that he hardly threw anything and when in guard was more worried about position than ground and pound. ZZZZZZZzzzzzzz.
Bob Villa- June 20, 2011 at 5:14 am
In summary: Everyone sucks, and their victories meant nothing.
insaniac- June 20, 2011 at 12:11 am
My first comment after the main event was "Wow, if Werdum weren't being such a bitch he'd be winning." He was getting the better of everything, but dropping down clearly didn't accomplish anything. Not to mention taking 15 seconds to get back to his feet wasn't going to win him any fans. Very disappointing fight though.
rogerw- June 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm
@Smackdaddiest1
Don't read the Underground then, there are dozens of threads claiming Werdum was robbed. Seriously.
intercept440- June 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm
long story short....the fight sucked donkey balls


the end
Fatty McDickbutts- June 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm
Also, fuck Gus Johnson.
Fatty McDickbutts- June 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm
Okay, I can't say Reem's the "best," but he's definitely better than what errybody's making him out to be now that he's had a lame fight. Guy can't knock everyone out all the time, folks... especially when said opponents are laying on their backs trying to eat his dick with their buttholes.
Fatty McDickbutts- June 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm
Reem's still the best imo. He's had a pretty big layoff in MMA, guys, and if you notice he threw next to NO kicks (the one real kick he threw he paid for, too). Reem played his gameplan very well if you ask me... He didn't light Werdum up like I thought he was gonna, but he absolutely kept Werdum from taking him down which was his biggest threat (yeah, he ate some puss-punches from Werdum in the process, but I bet he'd eat twice as many if it meant the fight didn't go to the ground)... You guys can cry all you fuckin want at The Reem not finishing Werdum in stunning fashion.. All I see is a guy that just avenged a loss, in the process making Werdum look like a total bitch.
Smackdaddiest1- June 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm
RSparrow, no worries. I was just thinking "Damn he might be the only guy on planet Earth who thought Werdum won"

Tell your guy to keep his head up, it just wasn't in the cards for him to get the W last night.
Xerxes- June 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm
anyone notice the ghetto beast walking in with The Grim? Talk about sexy! I think Barnett would have had a harder time with her.
Palmtreeguy- June 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm
Well for all the fuck-nuggets that said before this Heavyweight Grand-Prix that the UFC's Heavyweight division was nothing compared to Strikeforce's, I guess now we know who is the real joke. Really now? I don't think any of these (maybe an exception for The Babyface Assassin, ask me when the HWGP is done) Strikeforce fighters have a hope in hell at beating Velasquez, Dos Santos, Lesanr, or even Carwin. The only fighter from Strikeforce that may get a match or more in the UFC would be the HWGP winner. Other then that, the rest will NEVER see the light of day in the Octagon. Pure Ridiculousness last night in the HW division !!!
BuckWild- June 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm
Overeem wouldn't do well against JDS or Cain. He has no gas tank. To much muscle for mma just like Lashley.
k-onda- June 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm
See now? A little more appreciation for The Spider. At least when he faces dudes who just lay on the ground the whole time he keeps the fans entertained with a little MJ impersonation or the macarana or something. Alistair just stood there. I mean, horsemeat man can't dance?
Komodo- June 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm
Perfect caption for that picture.
RSparrow- June 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm
Shit, my bad.. I read RPN's comment the wrong way. No, I absolutely think Overeem won
Smackdaddiest1- June 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm
@RSparrow - So you think Werdum won the fight?
RSparrow- June 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm
@Ccman, I was gonna make the drive up there, but had to pull out last minute. People are saying he got robbed, but what are you gonna do, gotta finish. He's disappointed but has three more on his Zuffa contract.

@rpn, you're nuts
rpn452- June 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm
I've been a long time FightMetric supporter until now. They need to fix their system if they think Werdum won that.
ColinTimberlake- June 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm
They booed the entire Barnett fight until the moment there was a finish and it suddenly became cheers.

You give the Dallas fans too much credit.
henropotter- June 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm
Masvidal was a beast, but a bit too flashy for me. I guess you can take the kid out of Miami...
RSparrow- June 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm
@Ccman,

They made my boy fight at midnight, after the main event "due to time constraints" Really sucks for timing, his handss were wrapped for hours... he ended up losing a unanimous, but apparently it was close, just unable to watch it on hdnet or showtime. Sucks
ccman- June 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm
@dirtyd. If you need a back story or need a history to enjoy a fight it is a bad fight.
NinjaPride- June 19, 2011 at 11:45 am
or run to the other side of werdum and G&P em
NinjaPride- June 19, 2011 at 11:44 am
this fight was exactly how kharitonov and arlovski beat werdum........................ I expected a quick ko from werdum's son overeem but he scared of going into his guard I would be too but I think overeem could have dropped some bows on em and hurt him at least
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