Alistair Overeem made an emphatic return to the U.S., as the Strikeforce heavyweight champion needed only 3:40 to destroy Brett Rogers and successfully defend his championship for the first time since he won the belt in 2007.
“You know it’s been awhile, but I’m back,” Overeem stated after the bout. “I’m the champion of Strikeforce and I’m going nowhere, I’m here to stay.
“I was in the best shape of my life, and I think this fight proved it.”
Overeem was dominant in the bout from the opening bell. The champion tossed around the challenger before delivering some devastating ground and pound to finish the bout. After the fight, Overeem made no bones about whom he’d like to face next.
“Fedor Emelianenko,” Overeem answered when asked whom he would like to face next. “His management declined for him to fight me tonight. Respect for Brett [Rogers] because he stood up and wanted to fight me like a man, I think now it’s Fedor’s turn.”
It is unclear whether or not M-1 Global representatives have ever been approached with the opportunity to fight Overeem and have turned it down. Strikeforce CEO and M-1 Global partner Scott Coker has made claim that this fight has not been talked about yet and has also said that if it does line up, then he is sure Fedor will fight Overeem.
“That conversation hasn’t happened and I know that Overeem’s convinced that (M-1) is the reason (the fight hasn’t happened),” Coker recently told Sherdog.com. “Depending on how the next set of (heavyweight) fights play out, the deck re-shuffles and I’m sure Fedor would fight anyone we presented to him.”
One half of the biggest title fight in Strikeforce history is complete. Now it is up to Fedor Emelianenko to complete the other half, as he faces Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum on June 26, 2010 from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
Thanks to Mark Mayne for contributing to this article.