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Overeem’s Coach Martijn de Jong Says Alistair Will Wait for SF HWGP to Resume, Won’t Fight for DREAM or K-1 in the Meantime

(Overeem is hoping to add the GP belt to his growing gold collection before the end of the year.)

When Strikeforce announced today that it was postponing the second half of the opening round bouts of its heavyweight grand prix tournament until June, critics quickly began hypothesizing that the promotion’s current heavyweight champion, Alistair Overeem would likely not sit out from competing elsewhere while the tournament brackets get sorted out.

According to Overeem’s trainer Martijn de Jong, “The Reem” will stay true to his proclamation that the grand prix is his number one priority this year and the K-1 and DREAM heavyweight champion will not fight for any other promotion until his tournament obligations are fulfilled, even if it takes all year.

“Alistair wont be fighting anywhere but the Grand Prix,” De Jong wrote in a text message he sent today. “It is and stays his first priority.”

The commitment to Strikeforce and to fighting the pool of top-tier heavyweights in the tournament should quiet Overeem’s detractors who knocked “The Demolition Man” for the caliber of competition he has faced recently and for taking two-and-a-half-years to defend the Strikeforce strap he won in 2007. In that same span he fought 14 times, competing for K-1 eight times, DREAM four times and Ultimate Glory twice in a mixture of kickboxing and MMA bouts. He fought seven times last year.

According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, Alistair will face the opponent he asked to take on in his first tournament bout, Fabricio Werdum, at the June 18 event, which will take place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. If all goes as planned, the semi-finals should get underway some time in August or September, with the final penciled in for November or December.

Sources we’ve spoken to reveal that Strikeforce has applied for a promoter’s license in Ontario, Canada, so it’s possible that the semi-final or final round could take place in Toronto or Hamilton. Another viable location for one of the events would be Japan, where the Overeem brothers, Josh Barnett, Fabricio Werdum, Sergei Kharitonov and Antonio Silva are all very popular with the country’s MMA fans.

Cagepotato Comments

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Fried Taco- March 3, 2011 at 11:04 am
Yeah, I'm running around shirtless in the basement. But mom uses that as an excuse to never let me out.
RwilsonR- March 3, 2011 at 9:25 am
Fried Taco +1. Are you still without a CP shirt? That is a crime, if you are.
knucklesamitch- March 3, 2011 at 7:51 am
I don't care if the UFC heavyweight division isn't the greatest, I say let AO get in there and run through them...How exactly does that hurt us as fans?
Fried Taco- March 3, 2011 at 7:20 am
The Reem makes the GP his number one priority, now if Strikeforce could just follow suit.
rlh61- March 3, 2011 at 5:41 am
Yeah, I too have bitched about Overeem in terms of where, when and who he fights....but the guy is an f'ing beast. I'll probably watch him regardless of what banner he fights under.

@ReX - I hope you're right. Let him clean up this GP, then make his move. If Velasquez is still the UFC champ, the two of them would make for one hell of a draw. And I don't see any issues with an immediate title shot for 'Reem at that point.

@fbf - I love watching those reruns...before TUF turned into some bastard child of The Real World and Jersey Shore.
fatbellyfrank- March 3, 2011 at 4:23 am
Totally unrelated, on Fuel TV down here we get pretty much nightly reruns of TUF. Just watched Sanchez v's Diaz from the TUF 2 finale, what a fucken great fight, as Diego said, "Like two little lizards goin at it". Classic stuff.
fatbellyfrank- March 3, 2011 at 4:20 am
Must admit I'm a fan of the reem, as I've said before, anyone worthy of porking marloes can't be all bad
Dagnut- March 3, 2011 at 4:01 am
I'm a huge Overeem Fan..not saying he's the best but he brings it everytime.
What's he gonna do Fight twice a year in a extremely slow HW divison in the UFC or make maybe 500k a year or fight in numerous promotions and make more than twice that?
There is a world outside of UFC as much as Herr White would make you believe there isn't.
Chromium- March 3, 2011 at 12:45 am
Kind of easy to not fight for promotions that likely aren't going to be holding any shows for the foreseeable future (and that owe you $500,000).
StinkFacer- March 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm
^....cause come on, guy looks like Jax. Or Donkey Kong. You pick.
StinkFacer- March 2, 2011 at 10:14 pm
AO is quite obviously the #2 Heavyweight in the world. I say that grudgingly, because I rather place him at #1. However, Velazquez has fought (and beat) stiffer competition than Brett Rogers lately, so I can't. However, if both of them were in a ring, cage, bar, or the original Pit level of Mortal Kombat, I would put my money on AO without a second thought.
KarmaAteMyCat- March 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm
I've been an AO fan forever in a minute. I remember when Chuck beat him and from one person to another who dawns the Hawk I was sad because I NEW big things were on the horizon for AO such a FUCKING beast I don't care if people think he's crushing cans or Not I'm turning on the TV to watch it.
KarmaAteMyCat- March 2, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Happy enough for the time being. How long do you honestly think SurfNinja can keep that company a float. If I was the Strikeforce Heavyweight champion I would be wanting a pay increase sorta kinda maybe?!?! Once my contract was up. I mean Honestly AO will sell out stadiums if he goes to the UFC not to mention the MONEY they will throw at him. His draw power is beyond amazing. I think or at least I hope rex is right on this one Mike. Side Note: You got twitter Russell?
Mike Russell- March 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm
I don't know, Rex. All of the Golden Glory fighters and coaches (with the exception of Siyar Bahadurzada) seem pretty happy with SF. Jason Jones and Gokhan Saki are both making their SF debuts soon.
ReX13- March 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm
Yeah, ok, you know what? i think it's happened. i think i'm starting to be a fan of AO. am i the only one who sees this as another indicator that Overeem will be in the UFC the day after his contractual obligations run out with SF?
Ballkick- March 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm
I guarantee I will still stream this online whatever the date they finally get around to it.
HusseinObama- March 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm
Dana is right when he calls SF dickheads. June 18th?!?
By then all the hype and interest about the GP has gotten old andnobody will care. Why is everyone that runs a rivaling fight org to the UFC a complete moron?
hinduheat- March 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm
Lol... no way will they be able to pull of the SF GP in 1 year.

The other semis should have been happening on April for it to work out.

Coker... you fucking idiot.
ChrisH- March 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Seeing as I'm from Hamilton, I'd love to see Strikeforce here at Copps, but I'd definatly head to Toronto for this!
anderson wanderlei paulo thiago alves silva- March 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm
fedor should be healed by then and cleared to fight in the tournament. o wait.................