While everyone was busy on Internet message boards and comment sections furiously typing in caps locks with extra exclamation points how overrated and shitty of a fighter Alistair Overeem is because he didn’t walk through Fabricio Werdum as expected, The Reem Season 2, Episode 3 was quietly released to the masses.
Yeah, we were praying for something to happen in that fight, too.
Heading into last night’s Strikeforce card, there were a lot of potential storylines. There was Werdum continuing to clean out Strikeforce’s heavyweight division. There was Overeem avenging his loss to Werdum five years ago in devastating fashion. There were the returns to relevance of Josh Barnett and Jeff Monson, the rise of Daniel Cormier and “Othereem” getting the fans to learn his name. Yet after the event was over, the most compelling thing we can take from it is that Dallas has some educated MMA fans. While your average Affliction clad meathead was booing from the start of Cormier vs. Monson until the end of the night, Dallas fans only booed during Overeem vs. Werdum.
Normally I hate when fans boo fighters, but to say Overeem vs. Werdum was boo-worthy doesn’t begin to capture what a disappointment the main event was. We expected fireworks, and instead were given an even less relevant version of Silva vs. Leites (at least that fight was for a title). If that fight was under the UFC banner, Dana White would have immediately issued an apology to the fans and a threat to fire Werdum over another performance like that. To say the least, Werdum’s chances of getting back into the UFC were more than likely squashed by that fight three round Thales Leites impression.
The latest installment in Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament goes down tonight at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, featuring the long-awaited rematch between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum, and Josh Barnett’s promotional debut against Brett Rogers. Plus, KJ Noons and Jorge Masvidal jockey for #1 contendership in the lightweight division, and 14-year veteran Jeff Monson collides with rising heavyweight star Daniel Cormier.
Handling the play-by-play for this evening will be the Shemp Howard of CagePotato’s liveblog-rotation, Matt Kaplan, so let him know you care in the comments section. Live results from the Showtime broadcast of “Overeem vs. Werdum” will be stacking up after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET; refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest.
Brett Rogers has been publicly M.I.A. since February, and it was starting to worry us a little bit. So it was a relief to see this interview he did with Ariel Helwani yesterday, in which the Grim appears to be in a healthy but reflective state of mind before his match with Josh Barnettthis Saturday. Discussing his two-fight losing streak at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem, Rogers said:
“I was moreso in that mindset of my amateur days, you know, I was kind of like ‘just give me a date and I’ll be there,’ and hope for the best. The proof is in the pudding, I can’t always flow with that mentality. That attitude will get me in a hole.”
This Saturday night, Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum goes down in Dallas, featuring two more bouts from the promotion’s heavyweight grand prix: Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum, and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers. Submit your predictions for these two fights in the comments section below, including the winner’s name, the method of victory, and the time/round of stoppage, if any. Your entry should be in this format:
If you are a child of the 80s, Richard Dean Anderson will probably forever hold a special place in your heart as one of the coolest heroes ever. Why there isn’t still a show running in which a non-violent genius improvs helpful gadgets and kludges with a few innocuous articles from his lady friend’s purse is beyond us. Luckily, the spirit of MacGyver lives on in us all, and that includes Mr Josh Barnett.
The Babyface Assassin was having interview funtime with Karyn Bryant of MMA HEAT when a mishap with free weights put a damper on some dude’s day, leaving him with a dinged schnoz. Weightlifter guy is doing the whole routine: yeah, this is like the other times I broke it, nah, it don’t hurt that bad, yeah, I’m ok, nah, I ain’t got time to bleed.
Barnett springs into action! Using a couple of ballpoint pens, our buddy Josh manages to open and straighten Mr Bad Snatch’s nasal passages. It’s no field tracheotomy, but still probably a handy bit of knowledge to have, especially if people punch you in the face a lot.
Weightlifter dude walks away to cry off-camera, Josh does his PSA about bad snatch, end scene. While you probably didn’t learn anything, we at least distracted you for three minutes, so you’re welcome. If you’ve ever performed some oddball first aid using the field medic training you received in ‘Nam, tell us about it in the comments. (No need to share your own stories of snatch encounters, thanks.)
Last week, we expressed some concern that Josh Barnett‘s application for a license in Texas was still incomplete, just ten days before he was scheduled to throw down against Brett Rogers at “Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum” in Dallas. But it turned out there was a logical explanation for Barnett’s licensing status that involved pre-fight medicals, and the Babyface Assassin was actually among several other fighters on the card whose applications were incomplete as of last week.
And now it’s official. As MMAJunkie reports, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has issued Barnett a license to fight this Saturday:
Barnett’s license is good for one year…As earlier reported, Barnett was required to provide the TDLR with a clean drug test in addition to the usual pre-fight paperwork as a condition of his licensure. Strikeforce is conducting independent drug testing at the event…
That fact that we hadn’t heard anything about Barnett’s licensing status in the lead-up to June 18th’s “Overeem vs. Werdum” event at the American Airlines Center seemed like a good sign. But problems remain — namely, that the Babyface Assassin reportedly hasn’t completed his Texas licensing application, with just ten days until showtime.
Any time two heavyweights with a history of testing positive get into a bi-lingual war of words, you can book us for a ringside seat. Such was the case this week when Josh Barnett and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva launched into the now nearly obligatory online fighter beef session. Silva got the ball rolling during an interview with Sherdog, wherein (apparently apropos of nothing) he lashed out at Barnett for – among other things – ignoring Brazilian fighters on elevators. So … that was weird.
If we had to guess, we’d say Bigfoot is feeling a little lonely and cranky after being kind of overlooked in all the hype, speculation and gratuitous match-up fantasizing that’s gone on since the UFC-Strikeforce merger. After all, Bigfoot became the latest dude to slay the unslayable Fedor Emelianenko back in February. You’d think that was worth something, right? And then pictures of Barnett exchanging bro-grabs with Dana White show up on the Internet? Why, that’d be enough to set any giant’s blood to a boilin’. His attacks, along with Barnett’s response are after the jump.