Strikeforce “Overeem vs. Werdum” was an interesting event dominated almost completely by Heavyweight fighters. We saw some good fights, some interesting finishes, and a main event that honestly fell far short of expectations. Now once again it’s time to ask: what’s next? What does the future hold now that the Quarterfinals of the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix are over? Here’s my answer to just that: a new edition of my “What’s Next for the Winners and Losers” series of articles, now featuring Strikeforce “Overeem vs. Werdum”.
Next for Valentijn Overeem: Strikeforce may or may not decide to keep “the other Overeem” employed. If they do, he’ll serve a decent role as a gatekeeper until he loses a few in a row. If they don’t, he’ll go back overseas and compete in smaller organizations.
Next for Chad Griggs/Brett Rogers: Each other, which is why I’m grouping them together. I think that Griggs is due for a shot to get into the upper-echelon. Plus, this fight would prove once and for all if Brett Rogers has anything left to give. If Rogers wins he takes the first step on a badly-needed comeback, if Griggs wins he continues his Cinderella story and emerges as a legitimate top Strikeforce Heavyweight. It’s a win-win.
Next for Jeff Monson: If Strikeforce doesn’t keep Monson employed, he’ll drop to Light Heavyweight and go back to demolishing people in smaller promotions and fighting three or four times per month (yes, per month). If they do keep him employed, Monson will likely be dropping to Light Heavyweight anyway, unless Strikeforce wants him to stay at Heavyweight. Either way, I think either division could use a veteran talent like Monson and I hope Strikeforce keeps him employed.
Next for Daniel Cormier: In terms of his immediate future, I think Cormier will be the first man that receives a phone call if any of the remaining Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix participants gets injured. If everyone stays healthy, Cormier may get a Heavyweight like Andrei Arlovski, and it’s possible that a showdown with Chad Griggs could be in his future.
Next for Josh Barnett: A battle with Sergei Kharitonov, who has as much knockout power as Brett Rogers and a whole lot more experience. Barnett put his “catch wrestling” system on display against Brett Rogers, and he showed that his style is still very effective. If Barnett can use his powerful base and ground prowess to get Sergei to the floor, it’ll then just be another waiting game until Sergei slips up and gets himself caught in a submission.
Next for Fabricio Werdum: I honestly don’t know what to think about Fabricio Werdum now. I don’t know how some people are saying that Werdum won against Overeem. For the majority of this fight, Werdum’s only response to Overeem’s striking was to pull guard. Werdum simply looked like he didn’t want to fight. Other than a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko, I have almost zero interest in Fabricio Werdum right now.
Next for Alistair Overeem: Antonio Silva, another tough opponent in a long line of tough opponents that will help Overeem establish his legacy and assert his dominance. Even though Silva is an accomplished grappler, I think both men will come out looking for the KO the moment the cage door closes. With this victory over Werdum, Overeem has got to be the favorite to win the entire tournament. He’s certainly who I’ve got currently pegged to emerge the victor.
And that’s what I think, fans and friends.