Strikeforce ‘Heavy Artillery’ – After two and a half years, Alistair Overeem defends Strikeforce Heavyweight title in dominant fashion

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Sunday, May 16, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


Strikeforce Heavy Artillery St Louis CEO Scott Coker Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem
STRIKEFORCE CEO SCOTT COKER WITH HW CHAMP ALISTAIR OVEREEM - SHERDOG.COM

After a long two and a half year wait since winning the Strikeforce heavyweight title in 2007, Alistair Overeem (33-11-1, 13KOs, 19subs) returned to the cage for the San Jose-based promotion and obliterated top-10 contender Brett Rogers. The 253-pound Dutch kickboxer and mixed martial artist pushed the pace early, and used explosive power to toss 264-pound Brett Rogers (10-2, 9KOs, 1sub) to the mat with an awkward throw. Overeem left no doubt with a TKO ground-and-pound stoppage by strikes 3:40 into the first round. Of Overeem’s 33 wins, 27 have come by first round stoppage.

After the fight, Overeem called out top-pound-for-pound opponent Fedor Emelianenko (32-1-1, 9KOs, 16subs), who many consider the top mixed martial artist of all-time. “It’s been awhile, but I am back. I am champion, and I am here to stay,” Overeem said. When asked who he would like to fight next, he responded, “Fedor. His management declined to fight me tonight… It is Fedor’s time.”

Emelianenko is scheduled to face 2-time Abu Dhabi heavyweight champion and 2-time BJJ world champion Fabrico Werdum in San Jose on June 26th. Also scheduled for the Strikeforce/M1-Global Fedor-Werdum card, a middleweight rematch between Cung Le and Scott Smith, and the return of women’s 145-pound champion “Cyborg” Santos. Overeem registered a 6-0-1 MMA record in the two and a half years since he won the Strikeforce heavyweight title in 2007, with 5 of his fights in Japan. He also registered a 4-2 record with the K-1 kickboxing promotion, with 5 of the fights taking place in Japan and 1 in Korea. In the buildup to his win on Saturday night, Overeem has been the focus of a documentary film which is viewable in part at thereem.com.

The heavyweight and light heavyweight contender picture also gained a little more clarity after Saturday’s ‘Heavy Artillery’ event at the Scotttrade Center, home of the St. Louis Blues. Former UFC Champion Andrei Arlovski (15-8, 11KOs, 3subs) dropped a unanimous decision to Antonio (Bigfoot) Silva (14-2, 9KOs, 3subs) in the co-main event. Silva controlled the action on the feet, landing 58% of his strikes (67/128) to Arlovski’s 38% (53/139), and scoring on 2 of 3 takedown attempts according to Compustrike. Arlovski tried several overhand rights late in the third round, but was just off the mark as well as throwing them off the back foot. Silva imitated the horrible recent performance of UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in the waning seconds, lowering his arms to the mat and jiggling his head, then raising his arms in victory with time still left on the clock.

For Arlovski, it is his third straight loss after being brutally knocked out by Emelianenko and Rogers. One top MMA trainer noted to Sharkspage that Arlovski may not have been fully recovered after the Fedor loss before he was ko’d in 22 seconds by Rogers. Antonio Silva is coming off a close decision loss to Fabricio Werdum. A fight with heavy striking deserving of a rematch, and one this blog initially scored for Silva.

The light heavyweight picture also shed some light on possible future opponents for Strikeforce champion Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal. Submission grappling wizard Roger Gracie (3-0, 3subs) used a surpising body shot and knee to the head to drop Kevin Randleman in the second round. Randleman, age 38, fought off repeated submission attempts but finally tapped to a RNC at 4:10. “That is the secret, a fighter has to fight with his mind and not with his body… I am very patient,” Gracie said when asked about his late second round submission. When the fight went to the ground, Gracie’s world class BJJ skills were front and center. He fluidly switched from a north-south choke, to side control, to full mount, back control, then he flattened “the Monster” out for a RNC. This is only Roger’s third MMA fight in four years. It remains to be seen how much of a factor he will play at 205 or at heavy for Strikeforce.

Two highly touted Brazilians finally saw action after 6-month and 8-month layoffs. Light heavyweight Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (9-2, 8KOs, 1 sub) knocked out up-and-coming striker Antwain Britt (11-4, 9KOs). A looping right hand, followed by a short left sent Britt reeling backwards. Another 2-punch combination end the fight and handed Britt his first loss due to strikes. 4-time BJJ world champion Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro (20-4, 2KOs, 12 subs) lost a split decision to Spokane-native Lyle “fancypants” Beerbohm (14-0, 7KOs, 5subs) on the untelevised undercard. Beerbohm is a cult favorite. He spent time in a Washington prison for drug related charges, then started his MMA training before he even returned home.

Middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (12-2, 10subs) earned a grueling unanimous decision win over veteran Joey Villasenor (27-7, 11KOs, 10subs). Villasenor is an experienced 11-year competitor in the sport. He blunted early takedown attempts by “the Alligator”, and pulled off several highlight reel escapes. Behind 2-rounds-to-0, and with Souza gassing slightly in the third, Villasenor tried to tee off with his right hand. He stuffed a takedown and landed a knee, but eventually Souza took him to the mat. Souza is a 5-time BJJ world champion, an Abu Dhabi submission grappling champion, and along with the UFC’s Demian Maia his BJJ may be the best adapted for mixed martial arts. His striking and wrestling are improving strengths, and Jacare should be on the short list if Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields chooses not to re-sign with the promotion in June.

Official results:

Strikeforce Heavy Artillery
Scottrade Center, St, Louis, Mo.
May 15th, 2009

Strikeforce World Heavyweight Championship
Alistair Overeem d. Brett Rogers
TKO (strikes) – 3:40, Rnd 1.

Heavyweight: Antonio Silva d. Andrei Arlovski
UD – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28

Middleweight: Ronaldo Souza d. Joey Villasenor
UD – 30-27, 29-28, 29-28

Light-heavyweight: Roger Gracie d. Kevin Randleman
Submission (RNC) – 4:10, Rnd 2.

Light-heavyweight: Rafael Cavalcante d. Antwain Britt
KO – 3:45, Rnd 1.

Undercard
Catchweight: Jesse Finney d. Justin DeMoney
Submission (Guillotine) – 3:22, Rnd 1.

Lightweight: Lyle Beerbohm d. Vitor Riberio
SD (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

Light-heavyweight: Darryl Cobb d. Booker DeRousse
SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Welterweight: Mike Chandler d. Sal Woods
Submission (RNC) – 0:59, Rnd 1.

Light-heavyweight: Francisco France d. Lee Brousseau
Submission (RNC) – 1:27, Rnd 1.

Catchweight: Tom Aaron d. Erik Steenburg
Submission (Guillotine) – 0:56, Rnd 1.

Lightweight: Matt Ricehouse d. Greg Wilson
Submission (RNC) – 0:45, Rnd 3.

[Update] Overeem Blasts Through Rogers, Calls Out Fedor – Sherdog.com.

[Update2] ‘Demolition Man’ Is Back, Overeem retains belt, calls out Fedor Emelianenko – MMAfighting.com.

[Update3] Overeem demolishes Rogers, Calls out Fedor – MMA Weekly.

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