Alistair Overeem’s run in Strikeforce has come to an abrupt end. The news was broken by Ron Kruk on HDNetFights last evening. The organization has released its heavyweight champion, confirmed with multiple sources close to the fighter, including his trainer Martijn de Jong. HDNet first reported the news on its Inside MMA program Friday night.
Overeem had one fight left on his current contract. He was not immediately available for comment. When contacted by MMA Fighting, Strikeforce officials would not confirm or deny Overeem’s departure from the organization. The news comes on the heels of the announcement that Overeem was removed from the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix last week after he told Zuffa he wouldn’t be ready to fight Antonio Silva in the semi-finals on Sept. 10 due to scheduling and multiple injuries.
Overeem holds both the Pride belt and the K-1 belt so he is likely to continue to fight on the global scene. It is a loss to UFC/Strikeforce who could pit Overeem against some of the best heavyweights for potential legacy fights. UFC has complained about the amount of money paid to Overeem by Strikeforce prior to the merger with UFC. This could be an easy excuse to remove Overeem due to this reason. With a big win over Silva, the UFC would likely be forced to sign Overeem to a big money contract. Regardless, Overeem will remain a notable champion on the glocal stage.