The biggest stalemate in MMA history will come to a head if Fedor Emelianenko walks away victorious at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum.” At that point, fans are expecting Fedor to challenge heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem for his title in the most anticipated heavyweight scrap of all time.
“Alistair has told me many times he would love to fight Fedor. He has called Fedor out in Japan when he fights in Japan all the time. He’s looking forward to taking the fight,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAJunkie.com over the weekend. “That’s going to be something where we’ll have to sit down and discuss with M-1 after the June 26th fight.”
Therein lies the problem for the San Jose, California based organization. It’s been well documented how difficult it is to deal with M-1 Global, Emelianenko’s longtime management company, and one can only imagine the demands they might conjure up knowing that a mega-fight against Overeem hangs in the balance.
Just to give you an idea of what Strikeforce is up against, Team Fedor insisted on renegotiating his contract immediately after completing the first fight on his deal. It took them at least three months to “tweak” the original three-event agreement they signed less than a year ago in order to arrange next month’s scrap against Fabricio Werdum.
Kicking off the roadblocking festivities against Overeem is M-1 Global’s insistence the Dutchman submit to a third-party administered drug screening prior to facing their client. On numerous occasions, Vadim Finkelchtein, M-1 owner and Fedor’s go-to guy, has publicly accused Overeem of taking performance enhancing drugs – something that has drawn the ire of Mr. Ubereem.
“Vadim recently made comments about me being a “steroid bully” and that’s why they do not want to fight me,” Overeem said of the Russian’s primary excuse for ducking him. “But, then fighters who got caught three times with steroids in the past they want to fight.”
Much has been made of Overeem’s immediate exit from the U.S. after capturing the Strikeforce heavyweight title back in November 2007. Not only had he not been back to defend his crown until this past weekend, he turned into The Incredible Hulk during his absence which has many, ahem Team Fedor, questioning the legitimacy behind achieving that kind of natural growth in such a short period of time.
Overeem admitted it’s not Fedor that’s handpicking his opponents, but it’s Finkelchtein’s meddling that is preventing fans from witnessing the blockbuster heavyweight bout.
“Fedor, you are a great fighter and like many other great Russian fighters in history, you do your talking in a ring or cage,” Overeem said. “Leave this M-1 circus and start fighting the best. It’s okay to lose sometimes, but hiding makes you look like a coward, which Fedor is not, Vadim is!
“Vadim is embarrassing all the Russians. First, not fighting Randy Couture, and now ducking me.”
It has been heavily rumored that if Emelianenko is able to leave the HP Pavilion in San Jose victorious and unscathed, Overeem and Fedor could star in the organization’s first pay-per-view broadcast later this year.
Immediately after steamrolling Brett Rogers Saturday at “Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery,” Overeem reiterated that HE isn’t trying to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge anyone, while taking a slight dig at MMA’s Terminator.
“Fedor,” Overeem emphatically stated. “His management declined for him to fight me tonight. Respect for Brett, because he stood up and he wanted to fight me like a man.
“I think now it’s Fedor’s time.”