(Fight Fedor? He’s got a thing that night. PicProps: K-1)
After months of Alistair Overeem publicly blaming M-1 Global for keeping him from fighting Fedor Emelianenko, the “Last Emperor” finally came out this week and said he would fight Overeem by the end of the year. Great news, right? Well, it would be, except that Overeem now says he doesn’t want to fight Fedor. At least not until the former consensus No.1-ranked heavyweight gets back on the winning track. Instead, Overeem says he’ll compete in K-1′s 2010 Grand Prix, which could keep him tied up from October to December.
That faint crashing sound you just heard was us throwing our favorite coffee mug – the “I Love Iowa” one we got in grad school – against the wall.
“They already declined to fight me," an incredulous Overeem told MMAjunkie.com yesterday. "They know I’m not going to accept (a fight with Emelianenko right now) … Now, all of a sudden, they’ve dropped their terms. Now, they do want to fight me. It’s all tricks, and I don’t feel pressured by it at all."
Overeem claimed his plan all along was to fight the winner of Emelianenko’s June fight with Fabricio Werdum. After Werdum unexpectedly caught Fedor in a triangle choke, the Strikeforce champ said he set his heart on a bout with the suddenly potent Brazilian submission ace. But with Werdum now out tending to an injured elbow, Overeem has made other plans. Kickboxing plans. Plans that can’t be changed, apparently.
"For now, I’m in the tournament,” Overeem said. “I want to fight Fedor. I’m not negative about that fight, but I do believe he needs to win … because when I fight Fedor, I’m sure it’s going to be a title fight and I already fought Brett (Rogers when) he came off a loss. I don’t want to keep doing that. Werdum was a legitimate winner from the fight (with Emelianenko). He’s the No. 2 of Strikeforce, so I believe I should fight Werdum. If he’s still injured (in 2011), then I’ll fight Fedor because he’s still a worthy opponent, and I’ve challenged him for a year."
Overeem said if and when the fight does happen, he won’t be opposed to drug testing. In fact – while pointing out he’s never failed a commission-administered test – Overeem said he doesn’t even oppose more stringent, Olympic-style regulation, as long as it applies to MMA fighters across the board, not just ones who suddenly look like overgrown action figures. (Ed note: I added that last part).
The champion reiterated that he has no personal beef with Fedor, but still doesn’t like M-1 Global, whose representatives he referred to as “the Russians.”
“I mean, Fedor is a nice guy,” Overeem said. “I know Fedor personally from the Pride days, and we even worked out a couple of times together. He came down to Holland. He was a nice, humble guy. Nothing bad to be said about him. But the management – ugh. They’re just hard people to deal with. Ask (UFC president) Dana White. Ask (Strikeforce CEO) Scott Coker. They don’t like to deal with the Russians."