After champion Alistair Overeem thoroughly trounced Brett Rogers this weekend at “Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery,” fans were under the impression they had finally reached the halfway point towards witnessing the biggest heavyweight scrap in MMA history.
Emelianenko is scheduled to headline Strikeforce’s June 26th event against Fabricio Werdum. It has been heavily rumored that if he is able to leave the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California victorious and unscathed, Overeem and Fedor could star in the organization’s first pay-per-view broadcast later this year.
While that might be an ideal scenario for fight fanatics – well, perhaps not the paying portion of the equation -Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker claims the mega-fight is far from a done deal.
“To be very honest, the situation with Fedor, who’s fighting on June 26th, of course we have to wait and see what happens,” Coker told MMAJunkie.com following Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “Alistair has told me many times he would love to fight Fedor.
“He has called Fedor out in Japan. He’s looking forward to taking that fight, but that’s going to be something that we have to sit down and discuss with M-1 after the June 26th fight.”
Of course, all of this is contingent upon Fedor extending his winning streak to an impressive 28, right Scotty?
“You can’t count Fabricio out,” Coker said of Fedor’s foe. “I think for Fabricio, the time could be right for him to move forward. So when you look at that fight, it has to be something that M-1 and Strikeforce will sit down after that fight is over.”
That was clearly Coker speaking while donning his promoter cap. In reality, the Russian will be entering next month’s affair as a significant favorite, and rightfully so.
While it appears a scrap against Emelianenko may be arriving on his doorstep shortly, “Ubereem” knows his toughest battle is yet to come. That will happen when M-1 makes their presence felt during contract negotiations.
“Fedor is a legend. If you want to become a legend, you have to fight a legend, and you have beat a legend,” Overeem said. “I was hoping that he, as proclaimed to be a legend by his management, would want to fight the champion. He’s not the champion in Strikeforce, so I was thinking and hoping he would like to have that fight, but his management declined.
“I would love to fight him. If it’s for a title or not, it doesn’t matter.”