(One day this picture will fail to make us giggle like little girls. Today is not that day.)
We’ve made our share of wild speculations as to why female reporter-abuser Alistair Overeem is in no hurry to defend his Strikeforce heavyweight title. Either the money is too good to resist in K-1, or he just can’t bring himself to risk further injury to his street-fighting hand by strapping on the little gloves, or (our favorite) he misplaced the Strikeforce belt and is scared to tell Scott Coker. But in a forum post written in what appears to be a made-up language (or Dutch, one of the two), Overeem’s manager is adding another reason/excuse to the mix: it’s M-1′s fault.
Golden Glory’s Bas Boon reportedly called M-1 "crooks" and said Overeem’s deal with Strikeforce was signed "before this bunch of robbers came along," implying that Overeem doesn’t want to fight on any co-promoted cards. Since the only Strikeforce fight that makes any sense for Overeem at the moment would be against Fedor Emelianenko, and since we all know Fedor won’t fight a traffic ticket unless M-1 gets a piece of the action, that creates a serious barrier for Strikeforce to work around.
Look, we’re not going to disagree with Boon’s assessment of M-1 as a shady bunch of characters, but the Strikeforce/Overeem problem is obviously deeper than that. M-1′s involvement with Strikeforce is a very recent development. Overeem hasn’t competed for them in almost two years, and he’s never defended his Strikeforce title. His manager might get a little more sympathy from us if only Overeem hadn’t spent the last couple years finding reasons not to fight in the U.S. where, let’s just say it, they make you pee in a cup before and after you fight.
He couldn’t fight in August because his hand was giving him trouble, and yet he had no problem accepting a kickboxing bout in late September. We have to assume that he’s preparing for that fight by punching things and/or people, so his hand must be in pretty decent shape, though it’s hard to imagine that an extra couple weeks could have made all the difference.
Now it’s M-1′s fault that Overeem isn’t fighting for Strikeforce. We’ll be the first to admit that maybe Vadim Finkelchtein was out sick the day they covered ethics in business school, but Overeem and his camp can’t lay this all on the crazy Russians. He’s been avoiding something, whether it’s Strikeforce or the U.S. or drug tests or owning up to the belt that went missing the morning after a wild party. Whatever the problem is, he either needs to get it sorted out or Strikeforce needs to move on without him. There’s no point in having a champ who would rather make excuses than title defenses.