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Alistair Overeem & the Vacant Strikeforce Title – Breaking MMA News

By Sean Farrell

With Alistair Overeem gone, the Strikeforce heavyweight championship being vacant has been all the talk surrounding the division instead of its wonderful Grand Prix tournament…What will happen to the title? My favorite people (my readers) keep asking, well here is the answer blunt and to the point…The Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship of the World will simply sit around to rust and dust.

Following Alistair Overeem’s release from the organization this past week, Strikeforce officials are tight-lipped and being very Zuffa-esque about what’s next for his vacated title and have announced no formal plans moving forward. But, the organization’s heavyweight grand prix could play a factor in the ultimate decision.

Alistair Overeem won the title four years ago and had defended it just once, so is it really a big deal the belt is vacant?

However, fighting elsewhere Overeem became the DREAM Heavyweight champion and accomplished the main goal as a striker in all of combat sports, becoming the K-1 Grand Prix champion. Overeem rapidly rose in the MMA and Kickboxing ranks although he only defended his Strikeforce title once. Overeem became so popular, that he was the key to Strikeforce even having the eight-man heavyweight grand prix that kicked off earlier this year to begin with. On top of that, just last month he topped Fabricio Werdum in an opening-round matchup to cement his heavyweight status.

Now “the Demolition Man”/”Ubereem” is gone from Strikeforce after breaking his toe and being denied two weeks extension to face “Pezao”(Bigfoot) Silva. Showtime officials booked the semifinals for September 10th, and citing the toe injury, Overeem said he wouldn’t be ready until the beginning October and bowed out of the tournament. A few days later, he was cut from the roster and released from the promotion.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker isn’t discussing the release in detail, nor are any other Strikeforce officials. However, Overeem had just one fight remaining on his current deal, and discussions about his Strikeforce future weren’t exactly positive in recent weeks.
So with no heavyweight champion for Strikeforce’s most exciting weight class, could a new one come from the Grand Prix’s final four? Sure.

The remaining field contains a group of veterans like Josh Barnett, Antonio Silva, Sergei Kharitonov and Overeem’s replacement fighter Daniel Cormier. “Yeah, certainly,” Coker said “What we’re going to do is circle back in the offices next week, and then hopefully we’ll have an announcement as to how the next champion will be crowned.”

The current plan seems to be that the tournament, which is expected to wrap in early 2012 with the grand-prix finale will crown the new Strikeforce heavyweight champion.

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