K-1 Next for Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem

After winning the Strikeforce heavyweight championship in 2007, Alistair Overeem never defended his title in 2008. With the news Wednesday that Overeem is fighting in next month's K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16, it looks like he won't defend his Strikeforce belt in 2009, either.

K-1 announced Tuesday that Overeem is taking on Peter Aerts on the September 26 Final 16 card. He's also expected to fight in Amsterdam in October, and if he beats Aerts he'll return to K-1 in December for the Grand Prix Final 2009. That's an awfully full dance card for any fighter, especially one who has already postponed two fights because of a hand injury, and it makes it a near certaintythat he won't be fighting for Strikeforce until 2010.

So what becomes of the Strikeforce heavyweight title? I think they ought to award it to the winner of the Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers fight that Strikeforce is co-promoting with M-1 Global this fall. That's certainly a fight worthy of having a belt on the line, and it would allow Strikeforce to say that someone who actually fights in the Strikeforce cage is their heavyweight champ. I think Overeem is one of the most talented fighters in the world, and I enjoy watching him in both MMA and kickboxing. But a successful promotion simply can't have a heavyweight champion who never defends his belt, and that's what Strikeforce has right now.

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