Earlier this year, it was reported that Alistair Overeem would be scheduled to compete in DREAM once again, possibly before his new run through the K-1 Grand Prix circuit.
Overeem, the Strikeforce heavyweight champion, expressed his desire to battle for the Japanese promotions’ first-ever heavyweight title.
There had been rumors that former UFC belt holder, Andrei Arlovski, was thought to be his opponent in order to vie for the promotion’s unheralded title. However, negotiation’s fell through and the bout was ultimately scrapped.
Now, it looks like one man’s loss is another man’s gain, and Josh Barnett is reaping the rewards.
MiddleEasy.com has reported that Josh Barnett, the besmirched black sheep in the heavyweight division will be vying for the promotion’s first heavyweight title.
Although it has not been officially announced by the organization, rumor has it that “The Baby Face Assassin” will be competing on the infamous New Year’s show, Dynamite!! for the 2010 edition.
Barnett, who once claimed UFC heavyweight gold was ultimately stripped of the title after testing positive for steroids. Perhaps not the greatest stigma to add, but Josh is the only person in MMA history to have tested for said performance enhancing substances not once, not twice, but on three separate occasions. The last of which was the most documented. After a super fight was established by the now defunct “Afflicition” promotion, which has reverted back to it’s clothing company identity, between Barnett and the former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.
The bout was put to a halt ten days before the event by the California State Athletic Commission when Barnett had reportedly tested positive for P.E.D’s again, and eventually the whole card altogether was canceled, and the promotion eventually folded.
Josh recently signed a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce, however has some leniency in being able to compete in outside organization’s, under their approval.
According to the report by MiddleEasy, depending on the outcome of the K-1 Grand Prix which will feature the final 8 men in action on December 11th, Overeem may be available to reappear on the Dynamite!! year end show.
So, MMA peeps, what do you make of the news? Should Barnett be battling for the promotion’s vacant heavyweight title? Would a winner and loser in a bout between Barnett and Overeem effect the heavyweight picture in Strikeforce in a negative or a positive way? Sound off in the comment section below.