Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem booked his semifinal spot in Strikeforce's ambitious heavyweight grand prix, but he did little to gain fan following in a rather lackluster unanimous-decision win over submission specialist Fabricio Werdum.
The frustrating cat-and-mouse affair saw Werdum literally begging his opponent to engage him on the floor, while Overeem was unable to land any real significant damage during brief exchanges on the feet.
Werdum latched on to a leg in a last-ditch effort to steal the fight, but it simply didn't happen. Overeem remained comfortably on his back until the final bell, when both fighters were greeted with a chorus of boos.
The way Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem beat Fabrticio Werdum left a bad taste in his mouth, just as it did for most who witnessed the fight.
"I came to fight. But you need two to tango, so I'm a little bit disappointed. I want to deliver entertaining fights, and tonight was as little bit less entertaining."
"I expected more standup action. Fabricio was talking a lot before in the media, so I expected him to make more of a fight out of it. Lying down on his back all the time took the pace of the fight away."
"It's hard to fight somebody who doesn't want to fight and is sort of dodging the fight."
"He didn't hurt me with the punches. When somebody's moving back all the time and somebody comes forward with a punch – yeah, he doesn't hit hard. It didn't hurt me."
"In the beginning of the fight he kept his guard open to work, and that allowed me to standup. And later on, he just kept his guard closed because he was stalling the fight."
"I got the win. But I didn't knock him out, so I'm not entirely satisfied."
The Overeem that walked into this past Saturday's fight came in as a heavy favorite and, in many fans' eyes, was someone destined to avenge his 2006 loss to Werdum and build steam for a shot at UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. The Overeem that walked out of the cage was a guy in for a long road against the big-man division's best, to say nothing of the remainder of the grand prix field.
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