If you ask Golden Glory manager Bas Boon about star heavyweight Alistair Overeem, he will tell you that his client is “in a negotiation period” with Zuffa.
This comes after weeks of talk between Boon, members of Golden Glory, UFC President Dana White and others speaking out about what caused the release of four fighters from the Golden Glory team.
Zuffa declined to comment on the issue when asked by ESPN.com for an official statement regarding Overeem’s contract status.
Forza LLC, which operates Strikeforce and is a subsidiary of UFC’s parent company, Zuffa, was allowed to release Overeem from his contract due to “The Reem” claiming an injury would make him unavailable to continue to compete in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix.
“The problem with Strikeforce was that we made some agreements with Scott which were creating headaches (after) Zuffa took over,” Boon said.
Attempts to work out a new deal with Overeem, who was the Strikeforce heavyweight champion at the time, failed.
Along with allowing an exclusive negotiation period, sources close to the situation state that Overeem is still the holder of the Strikeforce title due to the “champions clause,” a common passage in fighter contracts that allows MMA promoters to maintain contractual rights to titleholders after their deals expire.
Overeem was reported to be part of card in Russia later this year, but due to injuries and the continuing talks between Golden Glory and Zuffa, he will not be on the card.