Strikeforce: Alistair Overeem Vs. Brett Rogers For Heavyweight Title

Bill JacksonAnalyst IMarch 30, 2010

Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem is scheduled to defend his title against Brett Rogers on May 15. It will be the first defense of his title since winning it against Paul Buentello in 2007.

There has been some fan criticism over the challenger. Brett Rogers (10-1) is coming off a second round knockout loss at the hands of top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. One would think you would have to be coming off a win to challenge for a title.

The truth is that you should, however, Strikeforce only has about six top heavyweights, and the other four are already scheduled for other fights.

But before you go bashing the limited roster of Strikeforce, the UFC has six of the top 10 heavyweights in the world, and Strikeforce has the other four. That's a pretty even distribution.

After Brock Lesnar lost his UFC debut, all he needed was a routine decision win over human punching bag Heath Herring to earn a shot at the championship. Would it silence some of the critics if Rogers was to beat up a Heath Herring for 15 minutes before his shot?

The reality of the situation is that Strikeforce is still an upstart promotion. You can look at the upcoming heavyweight matchups as an unofficial tournament to crown a real champion.

On the same card as Overeem's title defense, Andrei Arlovski (15-7) makes his return to Strikeforce against Antonio Silva (13-2). Andrei is a top 10 heavyweight and Silva is just a spot or two outside of that list.

Just a month later, No. 1 heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko (31-1) takes on No. 10 heavyweight Fabricio Werdum (13-4-1). It is to be assumed that Emelianenko or Werdum will be the next contender for the belt, with Arlovski or Silva next in line.

Once this little tournament plays itself out, there will be a legitimate Strikeforce heavyweight champion.

I also don't see a shortage of challengers in the near future. Josh Barnett will probably regain a license in the U.S., and I could see Strikeforce taking a chance with him.

What Strikeforce has in mind for the next two months is to hopefully build up to an Overeem-Emelianenko clash, which would be a huge event for the promotion.

Overeem's fight against Rogers could be a clear measuring stick as to how he would fare against Emelianenko.

The bottom line is all of these matchups are competitive and sure to be entertaining, and isn't that why we watch? Can anyone really complain about more free MMA?