After Alistair Overeem's dominating performance over Brett Rogers this past weekend, the fight that MMA fans have been waiting to see is one step closer to becoming a reality. After Overeem defeated Rogers en route to successfully defending his championship for the first time since he won the belt in 2007, Overeem made it clear whom he'd like to face next.
"Fedor Emelianenko," Overeem answered when asked whom he would like to face next. "His management declined for him to fight me tonight. Respect for Brett [Rogers] because he stood up and wanted to fight me like a man, I think now it's Fedor's turn."
Emelianenko is slated to face Fabricio Wedrum at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum on June 26th. M-1 Global executive Evgeni Kogan told MMAJunkie.com that a bout with Overeem would happen if Fedor were to get past Werdum.
"As we've mentioned in the past, Fedor fights whoever is put in front of him," Kogan today told MMAjunkie.com. "If Overeem is presented by the Strikeforce matchmakers as Fedor's next opponent, then that is who Fedor is going to fight.
"He is in the most intense part of his training camp in Stary Oskol right now and would like for it to be known that he is focused 100 percent on Werdum... The camp considers Werdum a very strong and dangerous opponent â€“ as Fedor's brother found out a few years ago â€“ and all attention is currently on June 26 and San Jose."
Overeem claimed that Emelianenko's management was responsible for the fight not taking place this past weekend. It is unclear whether or not M-1 Global representatives have ever been approached with the opportunity to fight Overeem and have turned it down. However Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker noted during the post-fight press conference this past weekend that there was no guarantee that the bout would happen even if Emelianenko were to defeat Werdum.
However, Kogan maintains that Emelianenko will face Overeem if he were to get past Werdum.
"We respect Alistair as an opponent and think that this would be a great potential matchup," said Kogan.
Fedor Emelianenko faces Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum on June 26, 2010 from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.