In a recent interview, current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem was candid when asked about his thoughts surrounding why he hasn't fought Fedor Emelianenko after a year of calling him out and why Fedor is now calling him out.
He was clear to mention that in MMA, fighters don't run from other fighters and their management is to blame for deciding who they fight and who they duck. Pretty clear talk for such a convoluted issue as many people have accused Fedor being the one responsible for avoiding opponents such as Overeem.
Overeem has a lot of respect for Fedor. He mentioned that he still wants to fight him, but K-1 will take precedence for now. As for Strikeforce, Overeem said Fabricio Werdum needs to come first.
Why? It's a grudge match from the loss Overeem took from Werdum in 2006.
As for Fedor, Overeem candidly stated that, "The reason Fedor called me out is to distract a possible match with Antonio Silva." It should be clear, though, that Overeem adamantly said that Fedor is not to blame for this; only his management is at fault.
If this is accurate, [dun-dun-DUN] the elusive M-1 Global strikes again. However, to the inquisitive observer, one must assume that M-1's favorite bargaining chip has lost a bit of his mystique due to his recent first round loss to Werdum.
Yet another Fedoric division has reared its head in recent times, and they back Fedor even more after his loss, saying because he's only human, the fact that he overcame such adversity in the past is indicative of how skilled and capable he is.
Then there is the common sense perspective that says Fedor is ultimately the one responsible for who he fights.
You would think losing so quickly to a fighter he was supposed to trounce would invigorate him enough to come back with a vengeance. Alas, Fedor seems as stoic as a machine when it comes to fighting, so we'll likely never know how much M-1 is to blame, or if they can be blamed at all.
Now, though, Overeem isn't as concerned with fighting Fedor as much as he's focused on becoming the K-1 champion and fighting in a rematch against Werdum. As for where this puts "The Last Emperor," there is much to be discussed.
Only time will tell whether or not Fedor will face any top competition in his career from this point onward as M-1 may indeed keep making excuses. Hopefully they'll keep in mind that Fedor already lost, but people will be even more interested in seeing how he does against top Strikeforce competition like Alistair Overeem and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.
As K-1 comes and goes and there's more of a gap in between Fedor and "Bigfoot" scheduling their matches, more and more questions will pop up, and hopefully we'll be able to ascertain some answers.
What are your thoughts?
For full access to the exclusive interview with Alistair Overeem, please CLICK HERE.