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Three Title Fights Slated for April Strikeforce Show; Overeem vs. Rogers Likely for May

While the date of Fedor Emelianenko‘s return is still uncertain, Strikeforce is moving ahead with plans for a monster CBS card in Nashville on April 17th, which is expected to feature three title fights. Along with the headlining middleweight title scrap between Dan Henderson and Jake Shields, MMA Weekly has reported that Gegard Mousasi will defend his light-heavyweight belt against top contender Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. Mousasi, who is riding a 15-fight win streak, hasn’t officially defended his Strikeforce strap since winning it from Renato Sobral last August, but has scored wins over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (in a Strikeforce non-title fight) and Gary Goodridge (in a Dynamite!! 2009 squash match) since then. King Mo is 6-0 in his relatively short MMA career, and wrecked Mike Whitehead at his Strikeforce debut in December, but is facing a massive leap in competition against the Young Vagabond.

Also on the Shields vs. Henderson card, a lightweight title fight between Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez and DREAM champ Shinya Aoki has been booked, according to Sherdog; Aoki’s title will not be on the line. Melendez recently regained the Strikeforce belt in a rematch against Josh Thomson. Aoki became DREAM’s lightweight champ by submitting Joachim Hansen last October, then followed up that performance by breaking Mizuto Hirota‘s arm.

Meanwhile, in the heavyweight division…

Alistair Overeem has confirmed that he’s likely to face Brett Rogers in a non-title fight slated for a May 15th Strikeforce event in St. Louis. Though Overeem is still the official heavyweight champion of Strikeforce, he hasn’t defended his title since winning it in November 2007. Overeem also said that an appearance at DREAM 13 on March 22nd is a possibility. For the record, Fedor Emelianenko’s management — who previously stated that they wouldn’t take a fight against Overeem unless he was drug tested leading up to the fight — now says they have no interest in a fight against Overeem whatsoever. "I personally think that Alistair Overeem did not reach the desired level to challenge Fedor," Vadim Finkelchtein told "He beat a lot of no-name opponents in Mixed Martial Arts…He has nothing to offer for Fedor Emelianenko." 

Also on the May 15th card, Andrei Arlovski is expected to face Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. Arlovski announced yesterday that he had signed a multi-fight, 16-month contract with Strikeforce; he plans to spend part of his training camp at Greg Jackson’s MMA Academy in Albuquerque. Arlovski hasn’t competed in MMA since his 22-second knockout loss to Brett Rogers last June, but participated in a four-round charity boxing exhibition against Fres Oquendo last Saturday.

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ghostboner- March 3, 2010 at 12:43 am
@budsellers - I don't want to see Overeem dropped I just want to see him fight. In the US. For the belt. ASAP. I know all I do is talk shit on him, but I really like him as a fighter. Fightlinker is saying that Overroidereem vs Rogers is now for the title, which is good, but how the hell are they gonna have two titles in the same weight class? The first thing Strikeforce needed to do was Fedor vs Overeem and unite those titles.
So If Fedor beats Werdum and then Rogers beats Overeem, does Fedor automatically become the Strikeforce since in his last fight he beat the present champ?
Lorenzoe553- March 2, 2010 at 10:57 pm
also fedor should beat any of these strikeforce guys with ease. its the ufc guys hes worried about which is why he didnt sign with them after dana pretty much offered fedor anything and everything. fedor probly wanted to fight overeem but overeem didnt want to which is why fedor hasnt agreed to fight in either upcoming strikeforce event.
Lorenzoe553- March 2, 2010 at 10:51 pm
as much as i hate to say overeem has to start off with an easy fight to ease his way into a title fight situation. or so strikeforce thinks at least. but he shouldnt have the title in the first place. he hasnt defended it in 2 years and had he defended it he wouldve lost by now. i also hate to say it but fedor should be champion already seeing as how he is the best hw strikeforce has. if overeem loses his fight then he doesnt deserve the title whether he put it up or not. also henderson should destroy pretty much anyone in the mw and lhw devisions and he'd be stupid to go to hw because hed have trouble with any of the above hw not that he couldnt win against a few of them tho. strikeforce is giving good fights but making them sound pretty stupid in the process. a champion should defend his title in every fight he has in his devision or else the title stands for nothing.
nuthugger- March 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm
According to another site, the Overeem Grim fight is now for the HW strap.
Something weird is going Strikeforce punishing M1 for fucking them about with Fedor's contract? Overeem ducking Fedor? M1 making Fedor duck Overeem?
robthom- March 2, 2010 at 5:20 pm
That looks like a great fucking card!
budsellers- March 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm
we fans want to see overeem dropped like a bad habit, but that would not necessarily be the best path forward for strikeforce. it's not like they have somebody else for rogers to fight right now...

if they do promote the overeem/rogers fight, i think most of us would agree that 1 of 3 things is pretty much guaranteed to happen: overeem fail to show up, he will fail a drug test or he will lose to the grim.

my prediction for how this all plays out is first, strikeforce will announce that the fedor/werdum bout has been upgraded to an interim title match; which would not occur until after the overeem/rogers non-title bout is signed. then, after after overeem fails to show or fails a test, strikeforce can name the fedor/werdum bout for the undisputed title. obviously, if overeem shows up and loses, the fedor/werdum winner can be named as the undisputed champ immediately.

(yes, there is also a possiblity overeem shows up, passes a drug test and also beats rogers, but either way, a completed overeem/rogers and a completed fedor/werdum fight creates time for the strikeforce HW division with a potential for winner vs winner and/or loser vs loser.)
steampunk22- March 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm
Strikeforce and the non title fight action is getting very played out.

I'm all for the cross promotion angle that SF has organized with Dream et al but they've gotta be able to crack the whip a little better than this. Been trying to pin down Overeem for months and months and they can't even get him to put his belt on the line? Against a fighter in his weight class? Who is also one of the only decent name heavyweights they have?

Strikeforce hasn't had a heavyweight belt defense in two and half years, thats fucking BULLSHIT right there. They can (presumably) get Overeem in the cage after all that time, but can't make it a title match? Thats fucked.

Although I'm of the opinion that this is more of a demonstration of Coker's inability to properly manage his fighters and promotion, then anything else. I want to like Strikeforce, but they keep coming up with this second rate horse shit. For shame.
MediumRare- March 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm
P.S. Can't wait to see Hendo blast Shields' face. When I think of how this fight will end, the image of a cantaloupe being dropped from a fifth floor balcony onto pavement comes to mind.
MediumRare- March 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm
"I personally think that Alistair Overeem did not reach the desired level to challenge Fedor," Vadim Finkelchtein told

Overeem has not reached the desired level? Tim Sylvia and Hong-Man Choi made the cut but not Overeem?

The man that has the Strikeforce HW strap has nothing to offer?

Has this guy had a lobotomy?

For all the things that Dana White is, I cannot think of any man that has been as instrumental in bringing together fights we want to see.

This Russian fuck-hole, on the other hand, is falling over himself to make sure we don't see Fedor in any of the fights we want to see him in.
ghostboner- March 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm
Arlovski is back! As the glorious prophet Mohandas or Muhamed or Nostradamus or Hammurabi or something like that predicted, AA makes his glorious return! Time to break out the expensive (pabst) beer and blow shit up! Too bad bigfoot will probably stomp him. But i can hope.

And since his title is not on the line I think Roidereem might actually show. If the belt was on the line I would be certain that it was a farce.

And yes, this is an awesome card.

@phattousai - Awesome.

P.S. Horse meat.
El Guapo- March 2, 2010 at 11:05 am
If in fact it goes down as advertised it's one helluva card!! I wanna see the undercards 100x more than the main event. It's not a good matchup IMO- I think Hendo destroys Shields with relative ease.

King Mo-Mousasi is gonna end violently and Aoki-Melendez should be some wacky shit. And I mean that in a good way.
Robocop Didnt Tap- March 2, 2010 at 10:50 am
I'll be going to the May show in St. Louis. The last time Arlovski fought here, he got KTFO though. :(

I hope Overeem fights Rogers, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Just like I'm not getting my hopes up for a Fedor/Werdum match on that card.
Phattousai- March 2, 2010 at 9:17 am
EA just announced that Alistair Overeem will be appearing in their MMA game. Unfortunately, he is exclusive to the Japanese release.
Lysol- March 2, 2010 at 8:58 am
As much as I hate M-1, they actually have a point. Crushing cans should not qualify you to fight the best heavyweight alive. Say what you want about Brett Rogers, but at least he beat Arlovski to get his shot at Fedor.
Dakyn- March 2, 2010 at 8:12 am
Why do people keep pretending that Overeem is gonna fight in the US where there are like, sanctions and governing bodies and, well, drug tests?
cecils_pupils- March 2, 2010 at 8:06 am
Josh Barnett just signed with Dream for the March 22nd card. I bet he fights Roidereem for the undisputed horsemeat-eating championship of the world.

Then, like jimbonics and Rex13 said, he'll find some way to get out of fighting in May for Strikeforce.
destinationblood- March 2, 2010 at 7:52 am
Didn't Mousassi part ways with M-1? How does he fight on an Strikeforce/M-1 card if he left them? or was it just his management? M-1 is nutzo
knucklesamitch- March 2, 2010 at 7:44 am
It's a joke that Overeem still has a title...He hasn't been in a Strikeforce cage since Nov. 2007. Personally...I think the fight is non-title because Overeem still can't remember where he put the belt. Let this be a lesson to the kids out that, horse meat will get you looking like a brick shithouse, but your memory is going to be worse than a 70yr old alzheimers patient.
rM- March 2, 2010 at 7:28 am
How in the hell can they get away with non-title fights!?! That is one of the stupidest things about these guys!
Yves Latrine- March 2, 2010 at 7:19 am
Haha, Overeem thinks he's going to pass a 'roids test by May. That should be interesting.
jimbonics- March 2, 2010 at 7:16 am
And why ISN'T Overeem Rogers a title fight? Are they both planning at coming in over 265?
ReX13- March 2, 2010 at 7:14 am
I'm with Jimbo here. Overeem has the em-effin' belt; he needs to defend said belt against some fucking body some goddamn time.

Ok, Coker, go ahead and strip that title, make the Fedor/Werdum matchup for the interim championship, and then offer Overeem a shot a winning the title by actually, you know, fighting for it. The longer you drag this out, the more your organization starts to look like a joke.

And knucklesamitch is right. I don't see Uberbitch making it to the fight in the US.
Dizzylittlelord- March 2, 2010 at 7:14 am
negativecreepo - hendo is too old and too slow get actually win a belt in any other division, mousasi would actually just queef all over him
knucklesamitch- March 2, 2010 at 7:12 am
look at the Fedor/Rogers card...they didn't say much of anything until the last second.
DAN THE VIKING- March 2, 2010 at 7:11 am
Hey guys I was just wondering, whats jake shields e-mail address?
I know a great online belt store he should check out... he would look great in something purple and studded.