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Executive Dances Around Exclusion of Overeem on DREAM 15 Card

(No, Overeem will not be fighting…but enough about that. Have have you all seen our new hex-shaped cage. I call it the Sexagon.)

In a bizarre move, DREAM Executive Producer Keiichi Sasahara addressed the media today in an attempt to quell the rumors regarding Alistair Overeem dropping out of the event, but refused to discuss the reason for the Dutch fighter’s withdrawal, effectively doing little more than fuelling further speculation.

MMAFighting has the transcription of Sasahara’s prepared statement.

"Towards the end of the negotiations, because of reasons that I am not able to tell you, although the two fighters agreed to fight, it happened that these fighters could not fight. It’s not because of money, but if the reasons are something that I cannot tell you then you might be able to guess what they would be. Because of that, we are not able to have these two fighters fight.
We really wanted Alistair [Overeem] to fight. Today, unfortunately it is not happening so we will only have seven fights. I have to apologize to the fans who have been looking forward to seeing Alistair fight in Japan. I’m sorry."

How is DREAM the last to know that the fight isn’t happening when Overeem told them last weekend he was out?

Are they having issues with their iPhone 4 reception and they didn’t get his message until today?

Here’s Sasahara’s convoluted explanation of what happened:

"I just want to you explain to you the background of this. Alistair was supposed to fight Andrei Arlovski and they actually both agreed, we were ready to make an official announcement and then of course then the contractual agreement needed to be signed by both fighters. However towards the end of the negotiations, because of reasons that I am not able to tell you, although the two fighters agreed to fight, it happened that these fighters could not fight. It’s not because of money, but if the reasons are something that I cannot tell you then you might be able to guess what they would be. Because of that, we are not able to have these two fighters fight."

So we’re supposed to guess why Overeem wouldn’t fight Arlovski? That’s cool. I wish more MMA promotions would feed us news in riddle form. It would spice up MMA journalism a bit and make us reporters work for our leads.

But that still doesn’t tell us what happened with Ricco Rodriguez. According to Ricco’s management who had contacted DREAM to find out if the news of Alistair bowing out of the show was true, as of Tuesday when he got on the plane to Japan, they were told that he was still  fighting Overeem.

Overeem mentioned in his statement to Ariel Helwani earlier this week that Arlovski was offered, but he rejected the fight when he was told that it would not be for the DREAM heavyweight title and that he was told the replacement would be Rodriguez, but he stressed that he never agreed to any of the opponents the organization offered.

My guess is that since neither Overeem or Arlovski would (or could, because of their respective Strikeforce commitments) sign long-term deals with the Japanese promotion, prompting DREAM officials to try to play hardball with them. Obviously they didn’t anticipate Overeem taking his ball and going home, cancelling the game completely.

According to Sasahara, when he threatened to pull out of the event, DREAM tried to accomodate him by finding him another opponent, but apparently Ricco Rodriguez wasn’t a suitable caliber of fighter for "The Demolition Man." 

"So Alistair was supposed to fight at DREAM.15 and we were trying to find new fighters or other fighters for Alistair. We offered the Alistair fight to many different fighters, but Alistair was motivated to Arlovski. Arlovski is not an easy fighter to find a replacement for. And again, we were not able to find a replacement. Alistair was supposed to fight Arlovski and we didn’t know who was going to be the winner. The winner was then supposed to fight at DREAM.16 in September for the heavyweight championship. But that scenario is now gone. We need to think about whether we will have the championships anyway. Maybe we will move to plan B. In any case, we would like to plan some other fighters for Alistair in the future."

Hey, he’s no Brett Rogers, but what did Overeem expect on such short notice?

Seriously, though. I’ve gained some respect for Overeem for not taking an easy bout and the large paycheck that undoubtedly goes along with it.

It may be wishful thinking, but Sasahara is hopeful the fight will still happen down the road.

"I think there is a possibility [that the fight will happen in the future]. You know, these two fighters, personally agreed [to fight]. But that didn’t happen. Of course we want these two fighters to fight in the future, it would be a great fight. However when we think about fighter’s feelings, they might not want to think about it for a while so maybe we should give them some time."

No word on who Arlovski and Rodriguez will be fighting, if they will square off against each other, or if they have both been dropped from the card entirely.

Cagepotato Comments

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ghostboner- July 9, 2010 at 2:37 am
"I think you can guess what it was..." Ok I will. Was it because:

A: Overeem came staggering in, his breath reeking of steroids, and made some comment about how he could really go for a fuckin unicorn burger, unintentionally offending the Japanese, who hold unicorns sacred.

B: Overeem, in a steroid and unicorn meat induced stupor, accidentally singed his name AssChair Overunicornslaughtereem, and upon realizing his inebriated blunder crumpled up the contract and asked for a new one. He then tossed the crumbled contract printed on ultra thin rice paper towards the rubbish bin, but a cross breeze from the open window caused the paper to run afoul of its cource and contact Andrei's chin, knocking him into a coma from which he has not yet awoken. OR WAS IT BECAUSE...

C: Dream is run by a bunch of donkey raping shit eating toilet obsessed business suit wearing butthole clown shoes whom are basically one step away from being M-1 Global. And that step is sideways, not up or down. It is a sideways step because Russia was on our side in WWII.

EDIT- Ok maybe a little extreme on the M-1 comparison, Dream does have an actual cage, and does make pretty rad event promo posters. But I'll be damned if I get jerked around on an Arlovski fight without putting in my 2ยข.
Fried Taco- July 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm
The cycle was wrong. But I guess someone forgot to remind Overeem they don't test in Japan...
rlh61- July 8, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I can't wait to hear the explanation for your tirade...
ghostboner- July 8, 2010 at 2:16 pm
So, uh... Steroids.
gigacock- July 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm
@sneakypete what is horsemeat induced chorro? i have to answer in question form rite?
gigacock- July 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm
@sneakypete what is horsemeat induced chorro?
ReX13- July 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm
Yeah, i am also confused by your rant. Obviously, CP has hurt you in some way--perhaps they banged your girl--but we really don't understand what you're trying to say about this article in particular. Little help?

BTW, don't worry about your chick being all skeezy. You can do better, and she was a lousy lay anyway. Allegedly. Or so i'm told.
Almost North- July 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm
Dumbfucks I have no idea what you are talking about. Please, enlighten me.
dumbfucks- July 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm
& Cage yams spews up another senseless article in which DREAM prevails. You clowns can never admit when you're wrong, Keep it up CP, you only make yourselves look worse each time.
Kimbos Bread- July 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm
@ Sneaky Pete

Well "D"one.

There's my reaction to your post and the answer to your question.

Like you, I am very very sneaky. Sir.
2DaDeath- July 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm
This guy's answers remind me of a riddle I learned back in grade school...

What is something a dog does that can also describe Brock Lesnar's attitude?
meanfinger- July 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm
thats what happens when u mix vuvuzella's, a gay bar, and the world cup...
Biffmiester- July 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm
@ El Guapo: +100. Good job channeling your inner Mojo-Jojo.

"...because of reasons that I am not able to tell you..."
I can understand respecting a person's privacy but geez. At least tell the general synopsis of Overeem's exclusion. Something like: "We are saddened to announce that Mr. Overeem will not be able to participate & fight at our Dream 15 against Andrei Arlovski due to lingering injuries stemming from a night gone wrong with a vuvuzella."
Sneaky Pete- July 8, 2010 at 11:54 am
Overeem is out of DREAM 15 because_____________. (Fill in the blank)

A) of shrinkage

B) of his very rational fear of being 'Fedor-ed'.

C) of a ruptured hymen.

D) all of the above.

Sabado Gigante- July 8, 2010 at 11:50 am
Allister needs to get another perm before he even thinks of getting back in the cage/ring...
2DaDeath- July 8, 2010 at 11:49 am
@ get off me:

Don't you know? Everything is reverse in asia. For example, the swatika is actually a peace symbol in china. Which means the nazi salute is something about how boring Jake Shields is.
El Guapo- July 8, 2010 at 11:49 am
Because of reasons that I am not able to tell you, I won't tell you anything. Because if I do tell you the reasons that I am not able to tell you, you might be able to guess what those reasons are. Which I am not able to tell you.

I'm gonna use that line with the ladies..
Fedor Penn- July 8, 2010 at 11:39 am
The Reem by brutal knee KO over Arlovski.
peanutbuttter- July 8, 2010 at 11:35 am
FUCK kfc. Let me just say that.
rlh61- July 8, 2010 at 11:33 am
Me so confused....

@Viva...Paulo won't take that fight unless he can bring his demons in the ring with know...for occasional light conversation.
Get Off Me- July 8, 2010 at 11:30 am
What's with the two fighters doing the Hail Hitler pose in the sexagon?
Viva Hate- July 8, 2010 at 11:30 am
Gens tweeted me the real reason that Overeem is out is because he refuse to fight anyone other than the greatest living fighter and the man who will forever be known as the king of fighters, Paulo Filho.