Overeem was coming off a win in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, but made recent statements advising that he would not be available to fight in time for the next round of the tournament in September due to the need to recuperate from his win over Fabricio Werdum in the opening round. The high-profile heavyweight made it clear that he would fight no sooner than November, even if it wasn’t for Strikeforce.
Apparently, Zuffa stood their ground and eliminated Overeem’s contract, which had one fight left to fulfill.
While company officials could not comment on the Overeem’s release at the time this report was first published on Friday night, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, following Saturday night’s Strikeforce & M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson, also confirmed the release. He refrained from providing any details about the situation, but did confirm that one consideration for filling the vacant title position could be to crown the winner of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix as the promotion’s new champion.
MMAWeekly.com will continue to follow up on this story as more information becomes available.
(Additional reporting by Damon Martin and Ken Pishna)