Alistair Overeem wanted to fight in October, and he will.
More than a week after the Strikeforce heavyweight champion bowed out of the promotion's heavyweight grand prix with a scheduling conflict, a homegrown booking has materialized for Overeem (35-11 MMA, 3-0 SF).
The fighter is now expected to compete in a United Glory event targeted for October, Martin De Jong, who promotes the Netherlands-based event and also trains Overeem for the Golden Glory fight team, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
"Since he is out of the [Strikeforce] tourney, we need to keep him busy, and I am honored to have him fighting at my show," De Jong wrote to MMAjunkie.com on Wednesday evening.
Earlier that day, Overeem's picture popped up on a poster advertising the event, which is expected to take place in Moscow, Russia. That, of course, led to questions of the heavyweight's plans after his participation in the grand prix went south.
Overeem was expected to fight Antonio Silva in the semifinals of the heavyweight grand prix, which is slated for Sept. 10 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, after defeating Fabricio Werdum in the competition's opening round. But when he requested an October date for his second fight – citing a nagging toe injury and insufficient preparation time – Strikeforce moved on without him and installed tournament alternate Daniel Cormier as a replacement.
UFC president Dana White, who is a minority owner of Zuffa LLC (the parent company of the UFC that recently acquired Strikeforce) said that Showtime – Strikeforce's broadcast partner – requested the Sept. 10 date and that the scheduling was out of Zuffa's hands.
White then told MMAjunkie.com that Overeem would fight again when he is healthly enough to do so.
"Overeem is under contract, and when his pinky toe heals up, we'll get him another fight," White said.
Or at least one under the Strikeforce banner; it's believed Overeem's current deal has just one fight remaining. While many have suggested that his withdrawal is a bargaining tactic to get a sweet new deal, both Overeem and White have declined to comment on any potential ongoing negotiations.
For right now, though, "The Reem" is taking the reigns of his career.