Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem once highly desired a fight against MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, but “The Last Emperor” has now lost two in a row and is no longer participating in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, where Overeem was hoping to meet the enigmatic Russian.
Emelianenko was beaten out of the tournament by Antonio “Giant” Silva in a match that inspired conflicting emotions in Overeem, as he recently told FightLine.com.
“Mixed feelings; on one hand Fedor always brings something extra to the tournament but on the other hand ‘Bigfoot’ Silva won the fight fair and square so he deserves to be in the semi-finals,” Overeem said of Emelianenko’s second defeat.
Despite the dulled luster of a bout with Emelianenko, Overeem would still relish the opportunity to take on one of the sport’s most respected competitors.
“Yes, of course but the question will be if that’s going to happen,” he said of fighting Fedor. “At the moment he’s not my priority, the tournament is my priority and after that we can always see if that’s a fight that we can work out.”
Other fights Overeem is interested in working out are against opponents in the UFC, now that the prospect seems actual thanks to Zuffa’s recent purchase of Strikeforce. So it is that he has his eyes on what’s going down in the UFC’s heavyweight division and currently on one fight in particular: the impending bout between former champ Brock Lesnar and top contender Junior dos Santos.
Overeem picked dos Santos to win that bout (which is scheduled for UFC 131 this June 11) on account of his respect for their similar styles of combat.
“My pick would be Junior dos Santos, and I will always fight the same and that is going for the knockout,” he said.
Overeem is next scheduled to compete on June 18 against Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum, which is likely to go down at the American Airlines in Dallas, Texas.