When Strikeforce released former heavyweight champion Alistair “Demolition Man” Overeem, most UFC fans thought they would never see the Dutch fighter inside the Octagon. After a bitter separation, cooler minds have prevailed, and Overeem is once again negotiating with Zuffa.
“We’re talking to Overeem,” UFC president Dana White told Dan Le Batard. “When everything fell apart, you heard me say we can’t do business with these guys the way they want to do business, meaning his management. Well, they’ve changed their opinions on how they can do business with us, so now we can.”
Tensions started between Zuffa officials and Overeem, when the 2010 K-1 Grand Prix champion refused to accept the proposed September 10 date for the semi-finals of the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament. Overeem was removed from the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Pix because of his refusal to accept the proposed date. Zuffa officials later announced Overeem’s release from Strikeforce, citing problems with his management team.
Currently on a 10 fight winning streak, Overeem is highly regarded by many MMA fans. Even though Overeem hasn’t exactly faced the best MMA fighters in the world during his run, his quick demolition of his opponents (not to mention his K-1 accomplishments) says he’ll do good even against the very best. With nine first round stoppages in his last ten fights, the UFC’s heavyweight division will be a lot more interesting with Overeem on the roster.
While a Strikeforce versus UFC heavyweight title unification match would have been a lot nicer, it’s good to see White and others try to make the best of a bad situation. Overeem is one of the top heavyweight MMA fighters in the world, and he should fit right in with the other giants in the UFC’s heavyweight division.