Current plans are in place for the next round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix to take place on Sept 10, but there’s only one problem…heavyweight champion and semifinalist Alistair Overeem doesn’t want to fight on that date.
In an interview with the MMA Hour on Monday, Overeem stated that he would not be ready in time for the proposed timeline of Sept 10 and even went as far as stating that there are other opportunities in other promotions if he’s replaced in the tournament.
His next opponent, Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, has been training tirelessly and waiting since February to get back in the cage, and is more than ready for the September date.
Speaking to MMAWeekly.com on Monday from Brazil, Silva’s manager Alex Davis expressed desire for the fight with Overeem to remain on the card, but honestly was open to any challenge that Strikeforce put on the table.
“We’re comfortable with Overeem, we’re comfortable with anybody,” Davis stated.
“Whatever they want, we just want to fight. If they want to put (Josh) Barnett there that’s fine, they want Fedor (Emelianenko) again, that’s fine. We would rather fight Overeem cause he’s in the semifinals, that would be for everybody.”
Silva last fought when he stopped Fedor Emelianenko in the first round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in February.
Overeem fought in June where he won a unanimous decision victory over Fabricio Werdum, but now it appears up in the air if he will fight in September or not.
“I find that it’s unfortunate and I don’t think that one fighter’s interest can be above anybody else’s,” Davis said about Overeem’s comments. “That’s the truth.”
It remains to be seen if Overeem will indeed remain in the tournament or if Zuffa officials and Strikeforce will opt to move forward with the Sept 10 date without their heavyweight champion’s involvement.