Alistair Overeem successfully defended his Strikeforce heavyweight championship belt in dominant fashion over Brett Rogers on Saturday night. After an almost three-year absence from fighting in America, the Dutch fighter showed why he's the champion and regarded as one of the top heavyweight fighters in the world.
Overeem needed just 3:40 to dispatch of Rogers, just about half the time it took Fedor Emelianenko to do the same job last November. That would lead some to believe that Overeem would be a great test for the Russian champion.
"Styles make fights," Overeem said after his win. "You can't compare what I did to Brett with what Fedor did. Brett came out more aggressive with Fedor, but took a more cautious approach tonight."
Regardless of style of fighting, it's clear that the Strikeforce champion is on his game and ready to take on Fedor. He made no secrets afterwards that there is one fight he wants, and he'll do what it takes to make it happen.
"I want to fight Fedor," Overeem said. "Will the fight happen? That's not up to me to decide. If Fedor's management allows it to happen, it will happen. It doesn't matter if it's for the title or not, I just want to fight him."
Fedor will fight for Strikeforce next month when he takes on Fabricio Werdum. Although Werdrum is a talented fighter, most expect a quick day at the office for Emelianenko.
Overeem is willing to fight either man, but he thinks that a fight with Fedor would be a better matchup.
"I won't say Fabricio is a boring fighter, but he's more of a ground fighter," Overeem said. "I prefer a stand-up battle, and that's what I'd get with Fedor. Fabricio will want the fight on the ground, and that's just not a good draw for the fans. Fighting Fedor would be more exciting and entertaining for me and the fans."
While no match will be set up until the conclusion of next month's fight between Fedor and Werdum, Overeem hopes to fight at least once or maybe twice before the end of 2010.
"I feel great, I could fight tomorrow if I need to," he said. "Who knows who I will end up fighting next, but I'd be ready to go in three months for sure. Maybe I can get two more fights in before the end of the year, that'd be nice. Strikeforce is my priority right now, and I'm committed to fighting for them as much as I can."
Fedor is a legend in the sport, but he has been accused lately of ducking fights and fighters. He can't rest on his laurels to still be considered a great fighter; the sport moves and evolves too quickly for someone not to continually fight great competition.
Overeem showed the world that Strikeforce has a legitimate heavyweight champion that is willing to fight anyone, anywhere, and at any time. He may not be as popular as Fedor, but he's every bit the champion the Russian is.
Overeem is doing all he can to make the fight happen.
"Fedor's management declined for him to fight me tonight," Overeem said. "Respect for Brett, 'cause he stood up and wanted to fight me like a man. I think now it's Fedor's time."
Fedor, the ball is now in your court.
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