Alistair Overeem is committed to the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Strikeforce heavyweight titleholder Alistair Overeem has defended his belt once in the last three years, opting to compete in mixed martial arts mostly in Japan since obtaining the title in 2007.
He was recently crowned the K-1 (kickboxing) 2010 World Grand Prix Champion and when Strikeforce announced the eight participants in the up coming heavyweight Grand Prix with Overeem on the roster, questions arose whether the Dutch striker would dedicate potentially three fights in a row in Strikeforce.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker put those questions to rest, asserting Overeem is committed to the tournament.
“He will be committed to this tournament,” said Coker. “And last year, just to be very clear, we have a contract with Alistair, and he came to us and his manager, his very close friend, and they said, ‘look, we want to fight in K-1. It’s important to Alistair.’ And so it happened and we were supporting of it, but this year it’s very clear they need to support Strikefoce, and the participation in the tournament will require up to three fights, and they’re committed.”
“In fact, we’re starting to talk about — last year he filmed that documentary “The Reem.” I don’t know if you saw it or not but basically it was the life and times of Alistair Overeem leading up to his K-1 Grand Prix Final victory. They’re going to start shooting the road to the Strikeforce Grand Prix Heavyweight Title, so they’re committed to this fight,” added Coker.
The eight-man single-elimination tournament will play out over several events with the remaining quarterfinal bouts expected to take place in April and the finals in June or July.
Overeem is obligated to not compete in kickboxing or mixed martial arts outside of the Grand Prix until the tournament’s conclusion.
“There’s no way that’s going to happen,” said Coker when asked if Overeem could take other fights during the course of the tournament. “This tournament is going to be taxing on these guys, and there’s a lot on the line.”
“Alistair is excited to compete,” added the Strikeforce CEO. “He’s committed to the tournament until the tournament is over. After the tournament, then he can compete in Japan or whatever he wants to do.”
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