It’s been less that 24 hours since we learned that Alistair Overeem was cut by Strikeforce, and the interwebs are still reeling from the shock. Everyone was so hyped up that we’d finally see Ubereem fighting some decent competition. Now it seems he will split his time fighting for his camp’s promotion and in Japan against whatever canny opponents are provided.
So how did we get here? Some point to the last straw being Overeem appearing on a United Glory kickboxing poster promoting a fight in Russia for October. But word is the release happened on July 22nd, BEFORE that event was announced. Still, it may have been Overeem’s (well documented) interest in fighting for other orgs that led Zuffa to say fuck it and tear up his contract:
Sources say that Zuffa was offering a new contract which did not allow Overeem the same freedoms as his previous Strikeforce contract did. Overeem has been fighting regularly for K-1 while under contract to Strikeforce and has made a lot of money doing so. Zuffa won’t allow their fighters to fight in K-1 or any other promotion.
According to another report, from Dave Meltzer, Overeem’s management at Golden Glory were angling for him to ported over from Strikeforce to the UFC as Nick Diaz was recently. Diaz’s contract was similar to Overeem’s in that it had a provision allowing him to take a professional boxing match if he wanted to.
And more from Dave Meltzer, who points towards the ‘injuries are just a convenient excuse’ line of thinking many of us are following:
But others have said Overeem’s management was considering that date if certain unnamed demands were met, which led to Zuffa officials being upset when Overeem went public with the story and blamed his pulling out on the injury.
To back up their injury claims, Overeem’s camp have just released their latest episode of The Reem where Alistair visits a doctor (the day the release was announced) who points to a crack in his rib.
“I’m very happy that I now have the confirmation for my story to cancel the fight, because canceling a fight is never nice,” Overeem says on the video. “I’m the fighter who always wants to fight. The Strikeforce [Grand Prix] is something I really wanted to win. But also, I realize that I have to be fit to fight, of course. I felt I was not fit going into training, and now this to back up my story, feels good.”
“I am glad my excuse now sounds less ridiculous than when it was just an injured pinky I fought through the Werdum fight with.”
It seems pretty obvious at this point that the injury wasn’t the reason for the cut, it was Zuffa’s determination that Overeem wasn’t a ‘team player’ and would continue to dick them around for as long as they allowed him to. Dana White and the gang have often shown they’re more than willing to ditch fighters who don’t seem loyal, and I’m sure every time Golden Glory brought up kickboxing in Japan, visions of Alistair walking away after the UFC built him up flashed through Zuffa’s head. Better to cut him now without giving him any more promotion, in their mind.
And of course, it’s the fans that suffer. Another big deal with another potential star falls apart because of big dick swinging. And we’re starting to get a taste of that feces pie boxing fans have been eating for the past 50 years.