First, Allistair Overeem’s belt will not be on the line. Let’s say Fabricio Werdum is the truth. He defeats Overeem in the first round of the tournament, puts away Fedor again in the second round and then beats Brett Rogers (or whoever from the other side of the bracket) in the tournament finale, he earns the right to fight Overeem for the Strikeforce heavyweight title. He would also be 2-0 against Overeem. Dumb.
Instead of having a couple dates set, they’re just going to continue expanding the tournament to make things work for participant Josh Barnett. He’ll likely have to fight in Canada or overseas because he refuses to deal with the California State Athletic Commission. When you’re catering to one of the least-important, most difficult fighters, you’re doing it wrong. Of course, the official reason for taking the fights outside the states is because its a World Grand Prix.
Combine all that with the recent announcement that Brock Lesnar will coach against Junior dos Santos on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter and the UFC is already striking back. Shane Carwin is eying a June comeback at UFC 131. Frank Mir is set to face Roy Nelson at UFC 130 and prospect Brendan Schaub has a chance to make himself a more established name by beating Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 128. Suddenly the UFC’s heavyweight division is alive again.
While the idea of Strikeforce’s Grand Prix is nice, it probably won’t go as planned. As I pointed out originally, all that really matters is that we get Werdum-Overeem and Fedor-Werdum II or Overeem – Fedor> Other than that, no one really cares. Sure the Overeem fights should be 5-rounders, but hopefully they get finished so we don’t have to worry. You want to put Overeems belt back on the shelf for a year while he could possibly lose? That’s cool too. As long as Strikeforce makes two of those fights happen, it will all be worth it.
[MMAJunkie, Getty, Fedor’s website with the awesome soundtrack]