Team Alistair Overeem Feels “Very Good” About Chances Against Fedor Emelianenko

Written by Tom Ngo
May 14th, 2010

Although Strikeforce has access to two of the world’s best heavyweights, the San Jose, California based organization hasn’t been in any hurry to put together one of MMA’s most anticipated 265-pound clashes.

Since defeating Paulo Buentello for the open Strikeforce 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. “The Demolition Man” will finally put his strap up for grabs against Brett Rogers this Saturday at “Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery.”

Fedor Emelianenko is slated to face Fabricio Werdum on June 26th. It’s rumored that if both are able to escape victorious and unscathed, they would headline Strikefore’s first pay-per-view broadcast later this year.

Although the scenario sounds ideal, we all know that nothing is ever easy when dealing with Team Fedor. Regardless, Overeem’s MMA coach, Martijn de Jong, feels quite confident in his boy’s chances against MMA’s Terminator whenever the phone does ring.

“I feel very good about Alistair’s chances,” de Jong recently told MMAFighting.com. “Fedor’s striking isn’t even close to Alistair’s.”

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, 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 …

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