Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem has been calling for a shot at Fedor Emelianenko for quite some time. Overeem claims Team Fedor is using his alleged steroid abuse as an excuse not to fight him, however Emelianenko’s manager, Vadim Finkelchtein, states that’s not the case at all.
“The communication that Fedor has with me basically entails Fedor asking, ‘Who is next? Just tell me the name of the person and the date,’” Finkelchtein recently told MMAJunkie.com. “That’s essentially all that he asks me for. It doesn’t matter to him who he fights. We’ve never gone out and chosen opponents.”
Overeem is among many in the sport that believe M-1 Global, the Russian based organization that manages Fedor and is conveniently owned by Finkelchtein, has been protecting the heavyweight and his legacy by avoiding the planet’s true elite.
Nyet, says Finkelchtein.
“Fedor’s record and his standing in the sport is based in the number of people who, when he fought them, were in the Top 10, the Top five, the Top three of the heavyweight rankings for world MMA,” Finkelchtein added. “That’s what makes him Fedor – what he has achieved and why he is in the position he is in now.”
Overeem will meet Brett Rogers at “Strikeforce St. Louis: Heavy Artillery” on May 15th. If he’s able to improve upon his 32-11 (1 N/C) professional record, it sets up a potential blockbuster scrap that could headline Strikeforce’s first pay-per-view broadcast rumored for late this year.
Although Finkelchtein was intrigued by the scenario, he was quick to point out it wasn’t a certainty – particularly if you examine Overeem’s resume.
“If you look at Alistair’s record, he has fought some good people. Some he’s won. Other fights, he has lost. But nothing in that record stands out and says that the next fight he has should be against Fedor,” he matter-of-factly said. “The last three fights that Fedor has had have been against highly ranked fighters – very strong opponents.
“We will take whatever fight is offered and have no issues with fighting whoever is in front of us.”
Emelianenko is hoping to return to action this summer against Fabricio Werdum, however Strikeforce and Team Fedor have been trying to “tweek” the original three-fight contract they agreed upon less than a year ago. Three months of back-and-forth negotiations have led to few answers and there appears to be no resolution in sight.