Finkelstein: "Alistair Overeem is a steroid bully"Posted on March 1, 2010, 04:38 AM by Anton Gurevich
M-1 Global Boss Vadim Finkelstein dispelled the rumors regarding a possible fight between the arguably number one Pound-for-Pound fighter in the World, Fedor Emelianenko (32-1 in MMA), and the reigning Strikeforce Champion Alistair Overeem.
Finkelstein went razor-sharp on his words by claiming that “Overeem has nothing to offer for Fedor, except being a steroid bully.” The comments were immediately censored on the Russian website Sports.ru, but the headline remained the same.
Emelianenko will face the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu maverick Fabricio Werdum sometime in May, as the fight has been moved from it’s original booking at the stacked Strikeforce on CBS fight card on April 17th. Vadim Finkelstein discussed the credibility of Fedor’s and why Fabricio Werdum is a legit opponent for “The Last Emperor”:
Fabricio Werdum is a really good and well-known fighter, but there is a feeling that this fight will not draw as much interest as the fight against Brett Rogers. Werdum is not a striker, he is not American and not a trash talker…
- When we promoted the fight against Brett Rogers everyone had the exact thoughts. People expected a very easy fight for Fedor, they expected that he will take down Rogers quickly and submit him. That was not the case, as you know. That is the exact situation with Fabricio Werdum, as no one knows how the fight will go – that is the most beautiful thing in MMA. Do not forget that every time when Fedor Emelianenko, it attracts a lot of attention. The name of the opponent does not really matter. However, I will agree with you on some things, but we do not have a better candidate for the fight against Fedor right now.
What about the current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem?
- I personally think that Alistair Overeem did not reach the desired level to challenge Fedor. He beat a lot of no-name opponents in Mixed Martial Arts. Overeem defeated Paul Buentello and then disappeared from the United States for more than two years, which is simply ridiculous. He has nothing to offer for Fedor Emelianenko, except being a steroid bully. Also, pay attention that Werdum beat Overeem when they were fighting in Pride, four years ago.
Don’t you think that the fight against Werdum should be for the Strikeforce title? Maybe Overeem should vacate his title, if he did not defend it for more than two years?
- We do not fight for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Title. Strikeforce are our partner, and any titles whether it is UFC, Strikeforce, WAMMA, Dream… they are just medals. Fedor is above these things. We are interested in the level of our opponent and his popularity among the audience.
So, it means that you will not demand the fight against Alistair Overeem?
- Exactly. We are more interested in fighting Josh Barnett, who is currently disqualified until September. When he returns from his suspension and if he tests clean, we might consider fighting him.
What about the Ultimate Fighting Championship, did you have any new negotiations?
- No. They did not contact us in any way. I don’t think that they are ready to follow our terms and conditions. We have our own organization, tournaments and partners. It is much better for us to be without the UFC.
Despite the negative comments, “The Demolition Man’s” management recently revealed that next announcement we will hear about Alistair Overeem will come from Strikeforce. Various sites report about the current dispute between M-1 Global and Strikeforce over the co-promotion conditions, which may eventually lead to the fight against Overeem (sometime in May), as he is the only credible opponent who can fight Fedor in the near future outside The UFC and Strikeforce.
Interview credit goes to Andrei Ivantsov, tribuna.sports.ru