On Friday’s episode of Inside MMA, HDNet reporter Ron Kruck reported Strikeforce has released current heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. The company recently removed the controversial slugger from their Heavyweight Grand Prix after he declined to meet the hard September 10th deadline Showtime set for the tournament to resume.
Overeem preciously stated on the MMA Hour on MMAFighting.com that he felt disrespected by Strikeforce because he claimed the company threatened to cut him if he didn’t compete. However, the 31-year-old professed he’d be ready to go again in October.
“I’m going to fight [in] October regardless. If it’s not going to be for Strikeforce, then I’ll fight somewhere,” Overeem said. “The thing is, there’s other promotions. There’s other stuff I can do. K-1′s going to come back. There’s some good reports on that. There’s some other promotions in the world that would love to have me fight.”
UFC president Dana White immediately stepped in to try and kill the controversy by stating Overeem was still under contract with Strikeforce, but his injured pinky-toe was preventing him from meeting Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the tourney’s semifinals.
“Simple story, hurt toe and pulled out,” White flatly tweeted.
Clearly, the drama ran deeper than a minor foot injury.
This past Wednesday, Russian-based fight promotion Glory World Series announced Overeem would compete in their MMA/Kickboxing tournament in October.
Overeem owns an impressive 35-11 (1 NC) mixed martial arts resume. He hasn’t lost a fight since September 2007, rattling off 10 consecutive wins during his current run. He became Strikeforce’s first heavyweight champion in November 2007, but only defended the crown once when he violently put Brett Rogers down in May 2010.
No word on how his release could affect a future partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Zuffa, LLC owns the UFC and purchased Strikeforce this past March.