In a deflating piece of recent news for fans of “The Demolition Man,” it was revealed that Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem would be removed from the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
The Strikeforce heavyweight champion was pulled from the tournament when he revealed that he would be unable to compete at the planned date for his semi-final bout against Antonio Silva. Rather than attempt to reschedule the fight in order to let Overeem enter into the contest one hundred percent, Zuffa moved ahead with the set date of September 10 and brought in tournament alternate Daniel Cormier to square off against Silva.
With some speculating that the tournament snafu is related to the fact that the champ is currently in talks to renew his contract, Overeem recently spoke with MMAFighting.com to explain exactly why he was unable to continue up the bracket.
“I don’t like to talk about my contract negotiations, but the rumors about me pulling out of the tournament because of that are false,” Overeem said. “Everybody is trying to find reasons why I was pulled out of the tournament, but I can tell you this: it’s not that difficult. Strikeforce promised me a date in the fall (October/November), I acted on it and chose to go on holiday and start my training in August. Zuffa/Showtime then decided to do it in September and then the ball was in my court, and I had to decline because I know it’s too short of time to be prepared 100 percent Instead of postponing the event they decided that the show must go on and use one of the alternates. It’s their choice, and I respect that but that don’t change the fact that nobody benefits from this situation; the fans, the promotion, the event and myself are the ones that are missing out on a great tournament and a great fight. The only one that benefits out of this whole situation is Daniel Cormier, so I wish him best of luck, and I hope eventually to fight the winner of the tournament for the belt.”