- OVEREEM DRAWS WERDUM FOR 1ST STRIKEFORCE DEFENSE

July 6, 2009
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by MMAWeekly.com Staff
Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (29-11) will defend his title for the first time in a rematch with Pride and UFC veteran Fabricio Werdum (11-4-1) at “Carano vs. Cyborg” on Aug. 15.

Strikeforce VP of Communications Mike Afromowitz confirmed the news Monday. It is the third confirmed title fight on the summer card.

The 29 year-old champion’s future remained a question mark since a brawl in a Dutch nightclub took him from a title defense against Brett Rogers at “Shields vs. Lawler” in June. He spent all of last year fighting for DREAM, where he racked up two victories before multiple fouls caused a no contest in a fight with Mirko Cro Cop. He last appeared in November, submitting veteran Gary Goodridge in his home country.

Overeem first tangled with Werdum in May 2006 during the first round of Pride’s open weight tournament. Overeem lost in the second round by kimura.

Werdum, 31, was released by the UFC following a TKO loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 90 last October. The highly decorated grappler signed to Strikeforce in April.

“I am very confident,” said Werdum. “I have trained my whole life for this moment. Coming in as the challenger in a title match is a huge motivating factor for me. Whether the fight is against Alistair or another fighter doesn’t necessarily matter to me. What matters is that I am fighting the champion.”

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