With reigning champ Alistair Overeem fighting everywhere but inside a Strikeforce cage and Fedor Emelianenko slated to face Fabricio Werdum in April on CBS, the San Jose-based organization hasn’t pushed to put together one of MMA’s most anticipated heavyweight clashes.
Although the potential matchup could possibly happen by the end of the year, Overeem’s MMA coach, Martijn de Jong, feels quite confident in his boy’s chances against MMA’s Terminator and claims they will be ready whenever the phone does ring.
Emelianenko holds a dominant 31-1 professional record and has been prefect through his last 27 scraps. However only eight of his wins were by some form of knockout while 12 of Overeem’s 32 victories have ended in knockout fashion, so there is some meat behind de Jong’s argument.
Although Emelianenko’s last two opponents were knocked out in devastating fashion, de Jong chose to focus on Fedor’s lack of a kicking game instead, something his client is fully locked and loaded with.
“Technically, Alistair’s striking is way ahead of Fedor’s,” de Jong said. “If Fedor ever fought in K-1, they’d kick the [expletive] out of him.”
Because of Overeem’s superior striking skills, de Jong expects for Emelianenko to try and take the fight to the mat and not risk a knockout loss and the dissipating aura of invincibility that goes along with it. If that’s the path Fedor chooses to go, Overeem wouldn’t necessarily run from it.
“People don’t realize how good Alistair’s ground game is,” he said while noting Overeem has won more fights by submission (19) than by (T)KO (12). “He’s really looking forward to fighting Fedor.”
Well, 16 of “The Last Emperor’s” 31 wins have come by way of submission and he hasn’t lost in over nine years, so I wouldn’t be too anxious…
Since defeating Paulo Buentello for the open Strikeforce heavyweight crown in November of 2007, Overeem has not set foot on U.S. soil, let alone a Strikeforce cage so the title has never been defended.