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After Injury to Lesser-Known Overeem, Just How Totally Screwed is Strikeforce?


(Nothing awkward about that. PicProps: MMAZone.nl)

It is with a heavy heart that we must bring you news that Valentijn Overeem – the older but slightly less impressive brother of Alistair – withdrew from his scheduled fight with Bigfoot Silva over the weekend after suffering an elbow injury in training, according to multiple reports. We know, it’s an epic bummer for those of you who were really looking forward to seeing the two middle-of-the-pack heavyweights slug it out on premium cable television. Seriously though, try to pull yourselves together. After this latest injury, Strikeforce is going to have to make some tough decisions and you’re not gonna wanna miss it.

As of this writing, none of our intrepid internet brethren have yet been able to contact anyone at the snakebit promotion to find out how it will cope with the news of a second fight being redacted from its scheduled televised lineup due to late injury. When Herschel Walker dropped out of his glorified sparring session with Scott Carson last week, Strikeforce scrambled to boost middleweights Benji Radach and Lucas Lopes into a light heavyweight bout to fill the void. What will it do now that Overeem is out? Try to find a heavyweight willing to step in against Bigfoot on less than a week’s notice? Press on with just four televised fights, one of which is already a last-minute replacement? Elevate a bout from the typically D-list undercard? We’re not seeing a lot of great options here.


For starters, it’d be nice to get that fifth fight back. Especially since Strikeforce broadcasts have a way of running short and with Showtime’s blanket policy of never, ever replaying any of the taped bouts from the undercard, that fact alone can make a show feel like a bit of a nonevent. But how to do it?

Clearly, this is where Strikeforce’s strategy of stocking its undercard with local talent nobody has ever heard of comes back to bite it in the ass. Filling the dark matches with hometown heroes makes a certain kind of sense when it comes to drawing a healthy live crowd — you want it to at least look like there are some people there, after all – but those fights are essentially worthless to the nationwide audience. You can’t exactly promote Fernando Bettega vs. Wayne Phillips or  Justin Lawrence vs. Max Martytniouk to the main card, now can you? At least not with a straight face.

If this is the only option, it’d probably be best to take a page out of the UFC’s playbook and wait for the undercard to happen, hope like hell something interesting goes down in one of the fights and then splice that into your broadcast as filler if a couple of the main card bouts run short. Still, we don’t even know if Strikeforce has that technology, given it’s pretty much never done it before.

We guess you could pluck one of the fights off that recent Challengers card and show that instead. Only a little more than 200,000 people tuned in to watch it live anyway. But which one? Justin Wilcox’s decision over Shaolin Ribeiro? Ovince St. Preux’s decision over Antwain Britt? The best bouts on that card were Caros Fodor’s choke out of Derek Getzel and Liz Carmouche’s TKO of Jan Finney, but those fights don’t do much better than one of the undercard attractions in terms of name recognition.

For our money, the best option here is for Strikeforce to try to talk one of its lesser known heavies into stepping up against Bigfoot, and we’ve got just the guy: Wes Shivers. Remember a couple of weeks ago when we said Shivers had no business being on a Challengers card after two years of retirement? Yeah, well, he won with a knockout after just 2 minutes, 15 seconds. Since he was fighting a guy who was 1-3 and who he outweighed by maybe 30 pounds, it didn’t do much to undermine our original argument. Shivers still didn’t belong on that card. But you know what? He belongs on this one.

Stepping in as a late injury replacement is exactly why you have a guy like Shivers under contract. He’s got some marginal name recognition after his stint on “TUF 10”, he’s coming off a win (however dubious) in Strikeforce and, frankly, he’s got nothing to lose. Heck, if we were Shivers’ people – and so long as he didn’t hurt himself too badly while steamrolling Goldman Butler – we’d be on the phone with Strikeforce right now begging them to give us this fight with Bigfoot. A win here puts Shivers in the mix and shuts up those assholes on that one blog who wrote that one thing that was construed as mean, even though they didn’t really intend for it to be mean. A loss? Like we said, Shivers doesn’t have much to lose, since he admitted before the Butler fight he didn’t know how much further he could push his MMA career anyway.

If Shivers isn’t available, maybe Chad Griggs. Or hell, why not Scott Carson?  He was supposed to fight Walker at 220-pounds, so give him that chance to shock the world he was so adamant about getting for himself. Either way, we think it’s worth it to try to get Bigfoot back on this card. C’mon people, we’re just spitballing here. If you’ve got better ideas, we’d love to hear them.

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ThrashingMad- November 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm
Oh wait, lol, Bigfoot already beat Ricco, heh, I forgot. I wouldn't really want to see a rematch between them. Anyway, they could get Tim, Buentello, hell even someone like James thompson would do.
urbanangel22- November 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm
The writers on this website are worse than sherdog. Seriously negative, paparazzi type bullshit journalism. I enjoy Strikeforce events and frankly, don't need to hear all the fighter bashing or Org bashing. Valentijn isn't a top 10 heavyweight, so what... he puts on great fights and has done so for many, many years.
Smitty- November 29, 2010 at 10:30 am
Double Dutch...............Get it??? Cause their Dutch...........and there's two of them. Double.....Dutch!!!! Ya see what I did???
Sorry I wasted everyones time.
RwilsonR- November 29, 2010 at 10:20 am
Valentijn Overeem is about as middle-of-the-pack heavyweight as Gary Goodridge is. Just because they have some wins from a decade ago does not make either guy relevant today. Valentijn got *armbarred* by Gilbert Yvel, for fuck's sake!!!
ldykilla82- November 29, 2010 at 7:59 am
Why not let Brett Rogers make a come back against Bigfoot.
Krazy Kracker- November 29, 2010 at 4:38 am
Well shit, just found out Petruzelli will be free that day too. Give him a call and see if he can't go 2-2 on putting organizations out of their misery.
Krazy Kracker- November 29, 2010 at 3:17 am
I'm surprised Todd Duffee wasn't one of the first people to jump to mind if he hasn't been snatched up elsewhere. Chad Griggs would be a great fight too even if he's not well known to barhopping Affliction shirt sporters. Speaking of last minute replacements to spice up a card, has Lashley been resigned or even training for that matter? Whatever they do I would not recommend bringing in a rising star, barely known or unproven newcomer on such short notice against a fighter they are trying to sell future tickets for and market as one of the best. They are too hungry while the vet has nothing to gain, knows nothing about them and takes them less seriously which usually ends in disaster. (note: Slice/Petruzelli)
Your Dumb- November 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm
I guess you can say God isn't a Strikeforce fan... he bust's Ken Shamrock's knee just to make sure he is eliminated from the equation of possible opponents.

But now that I think about it, why not get Shammy to fight Herschel Walker. It adds a small level of intrigue giving Walker a fight he can win while not giving us the feeling it's a completely lopsided squash match.

/thinking out loud
blackboxmma- November 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm
Time to put the tires down big Grim
ghostboner- November 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm
Shivers is a good idea too. He is a huge dude, and for whatever reason people always love to see huge dudes fighting.
ghostboner- November 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm
I vote for Todd Duffee. Get the damn Duffman in there.
taters- November 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm
I agree with the above poster about getting Ricco in there. Granted I think he dropped to 205 but i think he would take the fight to get on national TV again. I mean the last time he was TV was on VH1 lol.
ThrashingMad- November 28, 2010 at 2:22 pm
They could probably get Tim Sylvia or Ricco on short notice.

And, by the way people, Bigfoot Silva and Giant Silva are two different fighters, albeit having strangely similar names.
Clyde- November 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm
Todd Duffee? Has he been signed up yet?
Kimbos Bread- November 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm
@ Yazloz18

You mean, pull Kimbo from vacation.
MonsterMaulingAss- November 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm
Then Shane Carwin comes out to 1 punch KO them all! And then dana white comes out like Vince Mcmahon(swag) and talks shit to the strikeforce crowd and Scott Coker!
JaredB- November 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm
Bigfoot would be plenty competitive in the UFC, he'd beat Struve, McCorkle, Crocop, Barry and Mir at this point no problem.
MonsterMaulingAss- November 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm
I say have a fatal four way! Throw Brett Rogers, Josh Barnett, and Arlovski in the mix, then bring out the steel chairs and barbed wire 2x4s! A REAL version of pro wrestling, that ought to draw some viewers, hell it'll save the whole damn card.
badmarthafocker- November 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm
What about Danielle Cormier? It's been almost a month since he's last punched someone in face
Spicymeatball- November 28, 2010 at 11:24 am
If you use that logic with Carwin, then you can't have Overeem in the top ten either. Carwin didn't fight for a year because he was supposed to fight Cain, then got moved up to fight lesnar, then lesnar got sick, then he got moved into fight mir, and finally lesnar. Overeem's fought for Strikeforce once in two years, and may not fight again with them for another year.
Yazloz18- November 28, 2010 at 11:04 am
Pull Kimbo off the streets
HipHopHieronymus- November 28, 2010 at 10:56 am
Jeff Monson said he is done at heavyweight. And Bigfoot would get "tooled" in the UFC
BuckWild- November 28, 2010 at 10:44 am
Strikeforce should hunt down Jeff Munson and sign him to a one fight deal for this.. That would be a pretty good fight I think.
JaredB- November 28, 2010 at 10:16 am
Oldereem was a placeholder fight for Bigfoot until he could get that Fedor fight that allegedly didn't make sense. Really, two top ten guys in one organization who lost to the same guy fighting doesn't make sense? Tell that to Joe Silva, he's booking those fights all the time!
Your Dumb- November 28, 2010 at 10:11 am
I only feel bad for the Giant Silva since he's the only heavyweight in Strikeforce that actually appears to want to fight. He's far from my favorite fighter, or one whose fights I seek out, but he is one of Strikeforce's better heavyweights. So far he's only lost to Werdum, which Fedor himself is guilty of.

But it's not like we lost an awesome fight. A win did nothing for Silva other than keep him busy. A loss would drag him down badly, somehow prompt MMA mathematicians to calculate how much further Arlovski's career has sank while we started placing bets on his next game of Russian Roulette (Perhaps this can be a added Bonus question on Fightpicker whenever Arlovski fights next).

Strikeforce always seems to dig themselves into a bigger hole and as long as they stay in business I'll be a believer in the bottomless pit.
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