Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem has taken another temporary hiatus from defending his belt to compete in a K-1 Grand Prix. Overeem has taken heat in the past for neglecting his duties as Strikeforce champion but is currently in a tricky position as clear number one contender Fabricio Werdum is currently out until early 2011 and there are no other deserving challengers currently fit or able to compete. The extenuating circumstances aren’t appeasing everyone though, as normally reserved Russian fighting great Fedor Emelianenko recently made a public statement calling Overeem out for heading to K-1 in favor of fighting him (even though Emelianenko recently lost to Werdum). Overeem addressed Fedor’s statement in an interview with ValeTudo.ru.
“Here we go again,” Overeem said in response to Fedor. “There was a lot of discussion if this was really Fedor saying that because people where telling that Fedor would never give a reaction like that. I know for a fact that M-1 does most of the talking when Fedor is interviewed in writing so I’m not surprised if M-1 gave this answer. On the other hand it could also be that Fedor made these comments but was not well informed by M-1 about the negotiation with Strikeforce and myself. M-1 is doing a great job of keeping Fedor away of the true reality about what is going on. If Fedor reads the internet especially in the US then he will be shocked how many bad things have been said about him and especially M-1. They singlehandedly destroyed the legacy Fedor had with all their weird demands and strange comments during the year. So I hope Fedor read this and will tell him exactly what happened. You challenged me to late and I was already committed for the K-1 and don’t blame me because I was calling you out for more than a year but your management company gave all sort of excuses not to fight me. They need months of negotiations with Strikeforce before they can make a fight happen and I’m not the person that’s going to wait for you because I want to fight as much as I can. I’m more than happy to fight you but now you have to wait for me this time, sorry about that.”
Overeem recently advanced to the Top 8 of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 in Seoul by defeating Ben Edwards via first round TKO. The K-1 Finals will be held this December 11th at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan so Overeem will be occupied with that and likely unable to defend his Strikeforce belt until the first quarter of 2011 at the earliest. Whether he makes that defense against Werdum (who is by most accounts the rightful contender) or Emelianenko is currently unknown.