Overeem is such a strange case recently, as his name comes up constantly since Strikeforce became a national promotion here in the United States. As stated a few times before, Overeem claims that his contract with Strikeforce had expired and there wasn’t a new one negotiated until just before he injured his hand in a brawl. Of course the ever-vigilant MMA fans on the internet have pointed out his kickboxing career, which at the moment is rather fruitful for him. Golden Glory, his management, has word on the Overeem saga.
I talked with Bas Boon about Alistair Overeem starting his training again after his fight with 5 bouncers and his hand injury. Bas Boon told me that only a few months ago the agreement was made with Strikeforce, more then a year after Alistair became the heavyweight champion (he does not know why this offer came so late by Strikeforce). Alistair has a very good contract with FEG/K-1 and has been very busy fighting K-1 and dream fights in 2008. Strikeforce knew about this, but Alistair was allowed after negotiations, to fight in the USA as well in 2009. Unfortunately when the deal was finalized with Strikeforce we had to cancel the fight. Alistair was preparing for his first title defense for Strikeforce this summer, he sustained a very nasty infection on his hand as a result of a nightclubbrawl, were five bouncers were send to the hospital. This injury took longer as we anticipated and the result was the cancelation of two fights. The injury is healed now and the first fight of Alistair will be in Seoul against Peter Aerts for the qualification of the K-1 WGP on September 26th 2009!
I think it is fair to assume the injury was legitimate at this point, as Overeem’s last fight was in March against Remy Bonjasky (a fight in which he nearly won, too). The Strikeforce fight was scheduled for last month and his infection hadn’t shored up by then. He is now scheduled to fight in K-1 at the end of this month, as well as in October for Golden Glory (possibly for DREAM as well), and Strikeforce hasn’t exactly offered him a new fight yet. I think it is time for the internet to calm down on Overeem. FEG right now is giving him a chance as a kickboxer, and with a knockout over Badr Hari and a close decision with Remy Bonjasky I’d say K-1 is the best place for him right now.
Zach Arnold contacted Bas Boon himself to see what he could get, and got this for an answer:
“There was never a contract after the Paul Buentello title fight. This contract came a few months before Alistair hurt his hands. So it’s not 22 months long, but only 3 months.”