Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (32-11) is expected to face Brett “The Grim” Rogers (10-1) in a non-title fight on May 15 in St. Louis, Mo. Because Rogers lost his most recent bout to Fedor Emelianenko at “Fedor vs. Rogers” this past November, the bout with Overeem will not be for the title. Overeem posted the news on his Twitter account Monday, then later told MMAJunkie the bout was not yet confirmed, but should be finalized this week.
What does Overeem think of Rogers as a fighter? “He’s an excellent opponent,” Overeem said. “I’m looking forward to [smacking] his face and his loud mouth. I’m really happy that Strikeforce came with this fight so now we can settle things once and for all.”
So what about Fedor? MMA fans have been salivating for a match between Fedor Emelianenko and Overeem ever since the Russian signed with the Strikeforce. However, Fedor’s camp recently said they would only take the fight if Overeem could pass a drug screen, the insinuation being he is using steroids.
Overeem thinks what it really boils down to is that Fedor does not want to fight him. He said,
“Fedor doesn’t want to fight. His manager doesn’t want to fight. That’s basically the message I’m getting out of all of this. The management said, ‘Yeah, we want to fight Alistair, but first, Alistair must fight somebody else.’ Basically, you need two parties to agree on a fight. Otherwise it’s not going to happen. And now, I don’t know what is going to happen because I think [Fedor] might want to leave Strikeforce. I’m not really occupied with the situation; I’m just focused on myself and my training.”
If Overeem faces Rogers in May, it will be his first fight within the Strikeforce organization since he won the promotion’s vacant heavyweight title by defeating Paul Buentello in Nov. 2007.