Tournaments are like the Tower of Babel in the combat sports world.
In the beginning, everyone is enthusiastic, the will is there and it truly seems like the impossible can be pulled off.
Then you get halfway through it, pour hundreds of hours of work into it, only to realize everyone is speaking a different language, and no one knows what the Sam Hill is going on.
Confusion and frustration are the curses levied by the fight gods on every single-elimination style tournament, which seems kind of unfair, as tournaments are supposed to epitomize what fighting is all about: a no-BS way to determine who the best is.
Alas, it is not for mere mortals to try to touch the face of God.
I mean, this sort of thing was bound to happen sooner or later, right?
Just look at the pandemonium that befell the "Super Six" boxing tournament on Showtime, the same network that houses Strikeforce (for the time being, at least). No tourney is immune from the chaos.
But in that case, the frustration was "worth it," as the Super Six was the launching pad from which U.S Olympian Andre Ward catapulted into boxing’s elite ranks, whether or not he beats Froch.
But post-Ubereem, what exactly are we left with in the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament?
This is a tournament without Fedor, unarguably its biggest draw at the start, who could have used a win here to regain his grip on the heavyweight throne (how strange that notion seems now in hindsight).
It’s a tournament without Werdum, who could have added to the legitimacy of his Fedor win and BJJ credentials to become a bona-fide heavyweight superstar.
And most frustrating of all, it’s a tournament without Overeem, the Strikeforce heavyweight champ and K-1 Grand Prix winner who could have ridden a win right into the top five rankings in the world, justifying at long last his years of (arguably undeserved) hype from MMA fans around the world.
Now the only place to catch Overeem is in the unemployment line—and by that, I mean the next United Glory show, crushing cans like he was working in a recycling plant.
Same old, same old.
I’m still crossing my fingers, toes and God knows what else that Overeem will make his way to the UFC sooner rather than later.
What does that leave us in the tournament field? Let’s break it down, shall we?