Some very interesting news has emerged regarding Alistair Overeem and his status within the Zuffa LLC family. Recent talk throughout the MMA world had been that Strikeforce had released Overeem after he claimed he was unable to compete in the semifinal round of the Strikeforce Grand Prix tournament due to an injured toe. Not so, according to a recent report from ESPN’s Josh Gross.
ESPN is reporting that Overeem has not been released by Forza LLC, the subsidiary of Zuffa that owns Strikeforce and that Overeem is “bound to exclusive and separate 120-day negotiation and matching periods with the Las Vegas-based promoter.” If ESPN’s sources are correct, Overeem could find his MMA career on hold while the negotiation and matching periods play out.
The ESPN story also states that Overeem has not been stripped of his Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship, Instead he “remains tied to the promotion via the so-called ‘champions clause,’ a common passage in fighter contracts that allows MMA promoters to maintain contractual rights to titleholders after their deals expire.” – For more from ESPN click here.
This news seems to indicate that Overeem’s future with the Zuffa owned fight promotions is far from officially over.
The semifinal round of the Strikeforce Grand Prix will take place on September 10 in Cincinnati, OH. Daniel Cormier will take Overeem’s place and face off against Antonio ‘Big Foot’ Silva. The winner of the Silva versus Cormier bout will meet the winner of the other semifinal bout between Josh Barnett and Sergei Kharitonov in the tournament finals.