Do you remember how mundane Strikeforce’s much-hyped Heavyweight Grand Prix became once Fedor Emelianenko was abruptly eliminated in the opening round? Well, it appears the tournament has lost its next biggest superstar.
Speaking of Alistair Overeem, do recall the 265-pound Strikeforce champion telling The MMA Hour this morning that Zuffa, LLC had threatened to cut him from the tourney if he didn’t accept the September 10th appointment, and then followed the statement up with claiming he didn’t think they would go through with their threat?
According to Tatame, the world’s largest MMA organization has called “The Demolition Man’s” bluff and replaced him in the tournament with Daniel Cormier.
Cormier earned the nod by beating Jeff Monson last month in a HWGP replacement bout.
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva now meets Cormier in one quarterfinals matchup, while the other pairing remains the same with Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov.
The winner of the tournament was expected to unify Strikeforce’s heavyweight crown against Overeem. This abrupt swap shouldn’t change that, but your guess is as good as mine when it comes to the San Jose, California-based promotion.
An official announcement regarding the drama is expected to be made shortly.
Strikeforce has not located a venue to host the September 10th extravaganza.
Here is the card’s revised roster:
Jordan Mein vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos
Mike Kyle vs. Gegard Mousasi
Maximo Blanco vs. Josh Thomson
Roger Gracie vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal
Luke Rockhold vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (Strikeforce Middleweight Champion)
Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals:
Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov
Daniel Cormier vs. Antonio Silva