(Does this belt mean nothing to any of you ladies?)
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva is so fed up with Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emelianenko waffling over who they want to fight next that he released a public statement last night through his MMA Profit Advisor sponsorship management group calling for either fighter to take off their dress and get into the cage with him.
Overeem has stated that he only wants to fight Fedor or Fabricio Werdum under the Strikeforce banner, and since Werdum is recovering from elbow surgery and Fedor’s camp hasn’t shown much interest in that fight regardless of the fact that it’s the bout most fans are interested in , it makes sense to have Silva fight Emelianenko. Unfortunately, neither Strikeforce or Fedor’s management group, M-1 Global know who they want the Russian fighter to fight next, so Silva is waiting on the edge of the dance floor hoping some one of these two ladies will let him cut in before he gets stuck dancing with a less than desirable dance partner.
Here’s Silva’s take on the situation:
“I come from Paraiba, in Brazil, where we don’t back down from things! I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me; you will never see me picking and choosing opponents. It’s sad when the heavyweight champion starts whining that he will only fight this guy or that. What kind of a professional is this guy? He is the champ, isn’t he? Why be afraid to fight me? And Fedor, one of the biggest legends in the sport. Is this how he got to be a legend, by declining fights?"
"I never disrespect any opponent, no matter what his record is or what the public thinks about him. To me, he merits respect just for stepping up there and facing off, but these guys are disappointing me. They are demonstrating that they are not deserving of my respect.We are fighters, supposed to be some of the best in the world, and our job is to get up there, perform, and put on a good fight for the fans. I am ready to do this, just tell me who is next and I will be there. I am not a woman who wants to be involved in soap operas, looking forward to the next episode."
"I think that STRIKEFORCE needs to put an end to this. Give me whoever and I will fight him, and, win or lose, people will know I came to fight that day and put my heart into it. To me, this is the only way.”
You have to feel for Silva. Basically he’s being told by Strikeforce:
"Listen, buddy, you’re our last option for either of these guys to fight. We’re going to keep trying to get them to fight each other because that fight would sell the most tickets and bring us a little credibility, so how about you just wait and we’ll call you when we know what we’re doing with you. Sound good?"
If Overeem is continually going to refuse prospective opponents (like he did with DREAM and is now doing with Strikeforce), he’s going to be offered less fights and he could get himself stripped of his Strikeforce belt, which he has only defended once in over a year of ownership.
How many champions in other organizations get to pick and choose their opponents?