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Strikeforce Heavyweights Have Big Weekend Outside MMA

It was a very good weekend for Strikeforce, and I'm not talking about the Challengers card they put on Friday night.

No, I'm talking about the success that two Strikeforce heavyweights -- Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum -- had in a couple of competitions outside mixed martial arts.

Overeem beat Peter Aerts at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 in Seoul, advancing to the Final 8 of the world's foremost kickboxing organization. Werdum won the heavyweight title at ADCC 2009, the biggest no-gi grappling competition in the world.

That doesn't mean much of anything for Overeem's or Werdum's rankings in the MMA heavyweight landscape, because kickboxing and grappling aren't MMA. But it does mean something for Strikeforce: It means that in addition to being able to say they have the best heavyweight fighter in MMA in Fedor Emelianenko, they can also credibly say they have the best heavyweight striker in MMA and the best heavyweight grappler in MMA.

Am I overstating the significance of that to Strikeforce? Maybe: I realize that a win in K-1 and a win in ADCC don't mean a whole lot to the average fan.

But if Strikeforce does a good job marketing itself, these wins can be part of a larger effort to promote its heavyweight division as the truly elite heavyweight division in MMA. If all goes well for Strikeforce, both Overeem and Werdum will fight Fedor in 2010. The victories Overeem and Werdum earned this weekend are the kinds of things they can use to sell those fights down the road.

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