Zuffa Releases Overeem, Three More Golden Glory FightersJust days after Alistair Overeem was abruptly released from his Strikeforce contract, three of the former champion’s Golden Glory teammates have also been cut. Overeem’s brother, Valentijn, along with UFC fighter John Olav Einemo and ex-Strikeforce champ Marloes Coenen were all released.

News of Alistair Overeem’s release was first noted by Inside MMA on Friday, and Golden Glory rep Martijn de Jong confirmed the remaining cuts today. While contractual issues are believed to have played a role, a “lack of card space” was named as the reason for Coenen and Valentijn’s dismissals.

Alistair, originally scheduled to compete in the next round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, was removed from the tournament last month after citing injuries that prevented him from fighting in the semi-finals. He stated that he would not be ready to compete in October, and Zuffa management, who were unwilling to delay the tournament, opted to remove the then-Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion from the bracket. He was subsequently released from Strikeforce outright late last week.

While the release of brother Valentijn comes as little surprise after his recent loss to Chad Griggs, the dismissals of both Einemo and Coenen are puzzling. Einemo was defeated in his UFC debut by Dave Herman, but engaged in a spirited back-and-forth war that earned Fight of the Night honours. Coenen was the reigning Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion until she was submitted this past weekend by Miesha Tate. Coenen was arguably winning the fight heading into round four.

The release of Coenen is one of what will likely be many cuts of female talent from the Strikeforce roster in the coming months; culminating early next year when the current Strikeforce contract with Showtime expires. Select Strikeforce fighters, including former two-time PRIDE champion and current Strikeforce title holder at 205 pounds Dan Henderson, are rumoured to be moving on (or back) to the UFC. Others may not be so lucky.

Golden Glory affiliated fighter Sergei Kharitonov, who is a semi-finalist in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, remains with the promotion for now. However, reports suggest that if Kharitonov is defeated by Josh Barnett in the next round, he will also be removed from the Strikeforce roster.

Further updates will follow on this story as they become available.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)

  1. Bizarre releases.
    Every cloud has a silver lining.

  2. it sucks strikeforce is soon to be no more , lets look at the current status , no heavyweight champ, fedor contract is up, lightheavyweight contract is up, welterweight champ gone, top womens fighter marloes is cut( tates win was luck plain and simple , marloes figured tate was going to do what she had done every other tds absoluty nothing, so marloes was more concerned with attemting to score points rather than worry about defending a possible sub. plus marloes was easily winning this fight . i don’t think tate even hit marloes yet marloes hit tate really good every time she was near her. tate boring safety first style will cause the death of higfh profile wmma. the reason is pretty clear look at the love dana has for the boring safety style fighters remember all his negative comments about jacksons fighters , well miesha ‘s performance made rashad performances against silva and rampage look exciting . so that really speaks volumes about tate. if tate didn’tyt post pics of her self showing her ass , she would have no fans , because you never read people saying how awesome her fighting is.

  3. Releasing Coenen — easily one of the top three best representative of Women’s MMA, alongside Cris Cyborg and Megumi Fujii — is really hard to swallow.

    I agree she was winning the fight till she was subdued, and showed some pretty slick sub moves on the ground.

    It’s a big loss, and I am not sure I will keep on following the sport…

  4. […] is a perfect time for her to reflect on her career and plan out her future. Immediately after her release from Strikeforce, which seemed to cast Coenen as an innocent bystander in a dispute between Zuffa, […]