Strikeforce world heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem has been ousted from the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament, which resumes on September 10th.
“Sept. 10 was the date Showtime wants us to go, so it’s the date we’ve got to go,” UFC President Dana White told MMAJunkie.com. “It’s unfortunate that Alistair is unavailable, but situations like this are why there are alternates in the tournament.”
According to White, Overeem was removed from the tournament due to a toe injury. Overeem remains under contract with Strikeforce and will return once the injury is healed.
“Overeem is under contract, and when his pinky toe heals up, we’ll get him another fight,” White said.
Overeem was scheduled to face Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the semi-finals, but now it will be Daniel Cormier steeping in for Overeem to face Silva for a chance to meet the Josh Barnett – Sergei Kharitonov winner in the finals.
Overeem had noted before being removed from the tourney on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour that he had been threatened to be sued if he didn’t fight on the September card.
“That is not going to take place,” Overeem stated on the show. “Strikeforce has requested me to accept the fight for Sept. 10, to agree on that, but I have not agreed on it and I also had some emails, some questions asked, is the fight confirmed? No, the fight is not confirmed. I do not confirm it and I will not confirm it.”
“I’ve had some threats of cutting me out of the tournament if I don’t participate,” he continued. “I don’t know if they’re going to do it. Personally, I don’t like to be threatened. If people start talking like that then…be my guest, but then I’m really not going to sing to their tune.”
The Strikeforce Grand Prix tournament semi-finals will take place on September 10, 2011. The venue and location have yet to be finalized by the promotion.