Much like we would deny any affiliation with CP if we ever find ourselves at a Dana White dinner party, teammates of Alistair Overeem may soon start having to deny that they train with the recently released former Strikeforce heavyweight champion if they want to find lucrative work.
According to Golden Glory head trainer Martijn de Jong, Zuffa yesterday released a trio of The Demolition Man’s teammates. De Jong tweeted that former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen, Alistair’s brother Valentijn and his longtime training partner John Olav Einemo all received their walking papers Monday.
Although some might argue that all three fighters are coming off of a loss, Coenen only lost her belt on Saturday after defeating Sarah Kaufman last October to take the title and successfully defending the belt against Liz Carmouche in March. Name one other instance where Zuffa cut a champion after just one loss.
3-2 in her five Strikeforce bouts, Coenen’s two losses came against Cris “Cyborg” Santos and Miesha Tate.
Einemo was doing well in his Octagon debut at UFC 131 before getting stopped by Dave Herman in the second round via TKO.
Valentijn won his Strikeforce debut in less than two minutes of the opening frame of his heavyweight grand prix reserve bout with a slick neck crank submission of Ray Sefo and was beaten by Chad Griggs in his next bout by first-round TKO.
Although Zuffa hasn’t made comment on the firings, it’s unlikely they’ll come out and say, “It was because Alistair fucked up our tournament,” so expect an “It’s nothing personal. All of the fighters we released hadn’t performed as well as expected in their last respective fights, so we have decided to release them from the remainder of their contracts. We wish them well in their future endeavors,” bullshit type of statement.
It’s strong-arm tactics like these that make a union much more appealing to fighters.
Imagine if one of your friends at work pissed off your boss because he called in sick on a day that he was supposed to take part in an important conference, so in retaliation your boss fired you and anyone else the friend eats lunch with. Where I come from, that’s called wrongful termination.
The sole remaining Golden Glory fighter on the Zuffa roster is Sergei Kharitonov. If he loses to Josh Barnett in September in the heavyweight tournament semi-finals, expect him to be cut as well. Dana never forgets.