Overeem Yanked From Strikeforce Grand Prix

photo by Esther Lin/Showtime

Strikeforce champion removed from tourney due to dispute

Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem has been pulled from the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix and replaced with alternate Daniel Cormier.

The shocking news came just hours after Overeem told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that he would not be fighting for Strikeforce on September 10, the date Zuffa has targeted for the semi-finals of the tournament. Overeem said he would be ready to fight in October, but that Strikeforce was pressuring him to fight in September. He told Helwani that he would not fight until he was ready, and that he was going to fight in October whether it was for Zuffa or another promotion.

Overeem was scheduled to face Antonio Silva in the semi-finals of the tournament.

UPDATE: Overeem has not been released from his Strikeforce contract. UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie.com that Showtime wanted to run the event on September 10th, so that’s the night they had to run the semi-finals. White also said that Overeem would fight again when his toe has healed.