Fedor-Werdum Winner May Challenge OvereemAccording to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, a showdown between Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair “Demolition Man” Overeem and “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko may be a possibility provided that the stoic Russian can defeat jiu-jitsu ace Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum on June 26th.

Not wanting to look past the June bout, Coker could not confirm that the winner will be guaranteed a title shot, but told MMARising.com that the fight may determine a number one contender. Werdum, a heavy underdog against Emelianenko, already holds a win over Overeem.

Overeem (33-11-0, 1 NC) made waves following his dominant first-round stoppage of Brett “The Grim” Rogers earlier this month when he publicly called out Emelianenko (31-1-0, 1 NC) and claimed that the world’s top heavyweight was ducking him. An Emelianenko-Overeem bout has been discussed among fans and media for months, but following a round of contract renegotiations between Strikeforce and Emelianenko’s M-1 Global management, the once-beaten Russian was slated to face Werdum (13-4-1) instead. The two will square off in the main event of Strikeforce: “Fedor vs Werdum.”

“After the [Fedor vs Werdum] fight, if Fedor should win against Fabricio, then we’ll have a conversation with M-1 about having Fedor fight Alistair,” said Coker, who reaffirmed that things were “full speed ahead” with Strikeforce and M-1 and that he was happy to see Fedor returning to the Strikeforce cage.

While Emelianenko enters the bout with Werdum as an overwhelming favourite, an upset victory for Werdum would likely set up a rematch with Overeem that could also prove interesting. Werdum submitted Overeem late in the second round of their May 2006 battle at PRIDE Total Elimination Absolute. Werdum is 5-3 since that time, while the much more active Overeem is 10-4-0, 1 NC and is undefeated in his last nine fights. He captured the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship in late 2007 and successfully defended the title in the brief bout with Rogers on May 15th.

Strikeforce: “Fedor vs Werdum” takes place on June 26th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. As first confirmed by MMARising.com, the card will also feature a Strikeforce Women’s Middleweight (145-Pound) Championship bout between Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos and Jan “Cuddles” Finney.


(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)

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