Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem released a statement regarding his recent withdrawal from DREAM 15 event on July 10. Overeem stated that he was slated to face Andrei Arlovski for the DREAM heavyweight title, and when that bout failed to materialize he decided to bow out of the event. You can see his full statement below:
“I have heard numerous rumors about me fighting at Dream on July 10.
I want to give my side of the story before speculation arises,
After my Brett Rogers fight on May 15, I decided to take time off and do media appearances — MMA expo in Canada, E3 expo, Strikeforce events — and enjoy some time off with my family. I knew Dream wanted me on the show, but I didn’t want to go back in training preparation. Then, they offered me a fight against Andrei Arlovski for the Dream heavyweight title. As I have said on occasions, fighting for a belt means something more, and I wanted that Dream title so much that so as a result, I agreed to lay off my media and holiday plans, and went back into training.
During my training I found out that Andrei Arlovski was not going to be my opponent, and they changed opponents numerous times. I’ve heard names like Tim Sylvia and Minowa come about. At one point, I received notice that they had found a opponent but that the Dream heavyweight title was not on the line anymore. With all the changes and the title fight no longer a possibility, I immediately turned down the opportunity.
The next day, I immediately took a flight to San Jose to hype up my possible fight against the winner of Fedor Emelianenko or Fabricio Werdum. I then heard rumors that Dream had booked me in a fight against Ricco Rodriguez.
I want to make it clear that I never verbally agreed to fight him and I never signed a bout agreement with Dream to fight him. I feel sorry for Ricco Rodriguez’s camp if they still think the fight is on and I apologize to my fans that have bought a ticket to see me compete. Hereby I hope that this statement has shed some light on the unfortunate situation”