Earlier today Strikeforce issued a press release revealing that Allistair Overeem has re-injured his hand and will not be able to defend his Strikeforce Heavyweight championship against former UFC fighter Fabricio Werdum.
Overeem (29-11-1) is considered by most to be among the top Heavyweights in the world. By defeating Paul Buentello in 2007, Overeem became the first Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion. He has fought four times since then but has yet to defend his Strikeforce title.
Fabricio Werdum (11-4-1) was once thought to be a possible heir to the UFC Heavyweight throne. By defeating Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera by TKO in consecutive victories, Werdum established a spot near the top of the Heavyweight ladder. But after receiving a devastating uppercut KO at the hands of Junior Dos Santos, Werdum fell off the face of the MMA world.
This match was supposed to be Overeem's first Strikeforce title defense, while also being Werdum's Strikeforce debut.
A replacement for Overeem will be determined soon as to not scratch the entire fight off of the card. With less than a month left until the event, whoever takes this challenge could be at an extreme disadvantage.
While I have no real inkling of who will be put in the spotlight at August 15, I will wager a guess or two.
With such a small roster of fighters, Strikeforce will not have many Heavyweights to choose from.
Paul Buentello is already signed on for a fight against Gilbert Yvel at Affliction:Trilogy. Consider him out of the running.
Bob Sapp is coming off of an embarrassing loss to Bobby Lashley in a fight which he mounted absolutely no offense. Yet with no upcoming fights and Strikeforce in a pinch, he may be an option.
The most likely and most marketable fight would see Brett Rogers come in and prove himself yet again against a top heavyweight. Rogers last fought June 6 in a 22-second KO victory over Andrei Arlovski. A fight between Werdum and Rogers would be huge for Strikeforce, as a win for Rogers would setup a future fight with Overeem.
If Rogers feels ready, taking this fight could be huge. Not to say that he isn't already deserving of a title shot, but a win against Werdum would further solidify him as a major heavyweight threat.