(Updated) Reports Say Overeem is Out of HW GP; Golden Glory Hoping to “Find Solution”
By FCF Staff
Since Alistair Overeem made headlines earlier today by saying that his relationship with Zuffa was fragile, due to an apparent disagreement over when he should fight Antonio Silva, reports are now surfacing saying that the fighter has been removed from Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand-Prix.
According to several reports, the first coming from Brazilian publication Tatame, Zuffa has elected to pull Overeem from the competition and has replaced him with prospect Daniel Cormier.
There has been no official announcement from Strikeforce regarding the reported change. When FCF reached Cormier he declined to comment on the situation, and initial attempts to contact the undefeated fighter’s management were not returned.
The reports come after Overeem appeared on The MMA Hour program earlier today and revealed that he would not fight Silva in the tourney’s semi-finals on September 10th as requested by Strikeforce and its parent company Zuffa LLC. According to Overeem, his employers allegedly responded by threatening to remove the decorated fighter altogether from the tournament. Overeem then reportedly said that he was exploring other opportunities as a result of the situation.
When FCF contacted Overeem’s management team Golden Glory to comment on the fighter’s interview, the company responded by saying:
Alistair Overeem gave an interview on The MMA Hour regarding his participation in the Strikeforce tournament. The management is still in negotiations with the UFC/Strikeforce; we regret that Alistair said certain things in this interview. However we do understand that Alistair is getting frustrated about the whole situation.
According to Overeem, the proposed September 10th date does not provide him with enough time to properly prepare for Silva, who defeated Fedor Emelianenko in the competition’s opening round. Golden Glory repeated those sentiments.
When Alistair fought Werdrum he broke his toe in the training towards this important fight and he want to make sure to be 100% fit for his upcoming fight with Big Foot.
Therefore we have a difficult situation which causes pressure on both sides, we really would like to work things out for this tournament and will do our best in finding a solution which can be acceptable for all involved parties.
Subsequent attempts by FCF to contact Golden Glory regarding reports that Overeem has been removed from the competition were not immediately returned.
(Update: According to a follow up report from MMA Junkie.com, UFC President Dana White has informed the outlet that Overeem has indeed been replaced by Cormier, due to the fighter’s toe injury and inability to compete on September 10th as required. Overeem remains under contract with Strikeforce)