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Overeem at Odds With Strikeforce; Zuffa Threatens to Pull Him From HWGP

(“This guy is f*cking fighting on September 10.”)

Well, it looks like there was actually some truth to the rumor that Alistair Overeem was experiencing some friction from Zuffa and could possibly pull out of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.

“The Demolition Man” told Ariel Helwani Monday during The MMA Hour that the promotion tried to strong-arm him into agreeing to a second-round bout with Antonio Silva a month earlier than had been earlier agreed upon.

“Stikeforce has requested me to accept the fight for Sept. 10, to agree on that, but I have not agreed on it and I also had some emails, some questions asked, is the fight confirmed? No, the fight is not confirmed. I do not confirm it and I will not confirm it.”

According to the affable Strikeforce heavyweight champ, he was told to prepare for an October date with “Bigfoot,” which would give him adequate time to heal a broken toe he went into his fight with Fabricio Werdum with and to properly prepare for Silva’s unique size and style. When his management received a call from Strikeforce telling him to be ready for the September 10 event, he said he informed them that he would likely not be able to compete on the card if they indeed moved it up. His response was apparently not well received.

“What’s going to happen next, I don’t know. I’ve had some threats of cutting me out of the tournament if I don’t participate. I don’t know if they’re going to do it. Personally, I don’t like to be threatened. If people start talking like that then…be my guest, but then I’m really not going to sing to their tune,” he said. “For them to unilaterally declare, okay, [September 10] is going to be the second round, which I never agreed on, and then threaten me if I don’t want it, it doesn’t really show a lot of respect.”

No matter what repercussions he’s threatened with, Overeem says he won’t give in and fight when he’s not prepared as he has too much riding on his fights to come in less than 100 percent and that if push comes to shove he’ll defend his K-1 title or fight for another promotion until things are resolved with Zuffa or he might even try his hands at boxing, possibly against a Klitschko.

“The thing is, there’s other promotions. There’s other stuff I can do. K-1′s going to come back. There’s some good reports on that. There’s some other promotions in the world that would love to have me fight,” he explained. “So for me, the respect thing is definitely a factor and it’s definitely important. Boxing is a new challenge. Why not? I’m a fighter who likes to fight. I love to be very active. I’m going to fight [in] October regardless. If it’s not going to be for Strikeforce, then I’ll fight somewhere else.”

It’s somewhat ironic that with Zuffa trumpeting the virtues of its new fighter insurance policy that the UFC and Strikeforce parent company would try to push one of its biggest assets into going into a fight with a nagging injury or underprepared because of the impairment. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. UFC president Dana White is not known for his flexibility.

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Shifty-Eyed Dog- July 19, 2011 at 2:06 am
Good. Cut his ass
VANISM- July 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm
Zuffa seem like bullies and unfortunately for them the Reem isnt a desperate fighter who can be bullied easily. He has all the options in the world. He's in demand, everyone wants to see him fight. Its not unreasonable for him to turn down the move to Sep 10. It is however unreasonable for Zuffa to expect him to jump when they say jump and go into a fight on a date he hasnt signed up to fight on.

The Reem is a straight forward type of character. Zuffa just need to stop treating their fighters like b1tches.
RSparrow- July 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm
Everyone please read Barack Odrama's comment slowly.
weedrulz15- July 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm
Imagine if Werdum would have beat him due to submission via foot stomps.
BaghdadBob- July 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm
In the back of his mind, perhaps Reem realizes that if these schmucks threaten him, piss him off, and then retaliate against him by dropping him from the GP when he doesn't juggle their balls in his walrus-mitts, then there's always the upside of not having his ass royally kicked in the UFC post-Strikeforce HWGP.
Lesnarischamp- July 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm
crap, I hope not. I know the Reem doesn't need Zuffa to get paid like a lot of other MMA-only guys, so I was fearful something like this would happen before he got to the UFC. I really hope not.
EDoggFunkMonk- July 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm
"I didn't become such a huge fighter by taking fights at a moment's notice. MMA is a cycle. You have to respect the cycle or you just become some small fighter."

P.S. finding it hard to type with Kate Upton jiggling all over the screen. Not a complaint. More of a thank you.
Cryptococcus neoformans- July 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Reem shoulda listened to Fried Taco
BarackODrama907- July 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Tatame reports that Alistair Overeem is out of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and replaced by Daniel Cormier.
RSparrow- July 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm
All dates and locations for all rounds of the tournament should have been confirmed and signed on the dotted line prior to the first fight. No excuses, the fights must go on. Stupid rookie business fucks, Coker your douche.
Fried Taco- July 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm
Don't try to ream the Reem, you'll be sorry!
RaginAsian- July 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm
The holes in those Strikeforce contracts are showing.
KarmaAteMyCat- July 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm
Good for TheReem.
macreadysshack- July 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm
Corporate America can go fuck itself. Thank you, Mr. Overeem, for standing up for yourself.
war Sonnen- July 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm
i've been training for almost a year now, i'm 19 and i have 1 fight already under me here in canada and my plan was to try and make it to the UFC but the more i read shit like this it just makes me not want to. fuck dana white, sure he made the sport big but without the fighters UFC would be where it was before dana hyped it up. and now he's turned into one of the biggest, nastiest dick heads in the world. such a cash cow, i fucking hate dana now, chubby cock mouth. doesn't effect my love for watching UFC though :P
FightZen- July 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm
Good for him. Reem doesn't do what Zuffa tells him. He's the champ so he has the leverage. They'll strip him? Good luck with that.
XxStifflerxX- July 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm
I wonder if they would cut him and throw Fedor in there? Fedor gets his 2nd chance at big foot silva and he gets a shot to return to the grand prix! But! Not gonna happen! lol.
danomite- July 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm
Fuck 'em. That's the chance you take when you sign on for a Grand Prix. There's three other guys in the semi finals and I'm sure they all have injuries that are just as bad as a broken toe. Suck it up. Sounds like he's being a prima donna to me.
djp1988- July 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm
There's always the lucrative world of Japanese MMA. Too soon?