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Alistair Overeem Defends Strikeforce Belt, Calls Out Fedor Emelianenko

Alistair OvereemIt took him two-and-a-half years to defend his heavyweight belt, but he didn't stay long to do it.

Alistair Overeem returned to Strikeforce with a flourish, scoring a first-round TKO stoppage over Brett Rogers at Strikeforce Heavy Artillery at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.

Ref John McCarthy called for the final bell at just 3:40 of round one.

Immediately afterward, Overeem wasted no time in calling out Strikeforce's other superstar heavyweight: Fedor Emelianenko.

"His management declined to fight me tonight," he said. "Respect for Brett. He stood up and wanted to fight me like a man. I think it's Fedor's turn."

After watching the "Demolition Man's" one-sided beating of Rogers, it's going to be hard for Emelianenko's team to deny the fight any longer.

Overeem put on a simply dominant performance, landing 54 of 79 punches in essentially two-thirds of a round. Meanwhile, Rogers was able to land only one single punch.

"I was in the best shape of my life," Overeem said. "I think this fight proved it. I wanted to finish him, finish the fight as I do in all my fights. I'm happy."

Overeem stalked Rogers early, walking him around the cage, landing punches and leg kicks in the process. Eventually, he manhandled Rogers to the ground. It didn't last long from there as Rogers covered up and tried to work his way back to his feet to no avail. Overeem put on a massive flurry of strikes until the referee had no choice but to stop the action.

Prior to Saturday night, Overeem's last time in a Strikeforce cage was Nov. 2007, when he won the belt by defeating Paul Buentello. He explained his absence from the U.S. MMA scene by saying that he was waiting for Strikeforce to beef up its heavyweight roster. Now, it appears he's happy and ready to keep moving forward.

"It's been a while but I'm back," Overeem said. "I'm the champ of Strikeforce and I ain't going anywhere. I'm here to stay."

Overeem is now unbeaten in his last 10 MMA fights and improved his career mark to 33-11 with one no contest. Rogers, meanwhile, fell to 10-2 with his second straight /> .fanhouseButton {margin:2em 0;} .fanhouseButton a:link, .fanhouseButton a:visited, .fanhouseButton a:hover, .fanhouseButton a:active {background-color:#dd2829;color:#FFFFFF;font-size:18px;padding:0.3em 0.6em;text-decoration:none;} .fanhouseButton a:hover {background-color:#000000;}

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