Posted by: Jon Luther on Dec 24, 2010
A heavyweight clash between current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champ and recent K-1 World Grand Prix winner Alistair Overeem and Todd Duffee has just been made official, sources close to the fight revealed to MMAFA.tv. The announcement brings nearly a month of speculation over who would be Overeem’s challenger at Dynamite!! 2010 to a close.
Many fans took notice when Duffee hinted at the match-up on his personal facebook page, only to take it down hours later. Duffee was urged to keep the fight as low-profile as possible since Japanese officials are liable to deny him a short-term visa if it is suspected he was there to participate in an event that would yield a sizable payday. Dream officials postponed the announcement for this very reason even though an agreement had been made in advance.
Duffee’s manager, Monte Cox, spoke candidly with MMAFA.tv about the match-up:
"This is one of those opportunities that come around once in a lifetime. Todd isn't 100% and there isn't enough time to get 100% ready, but he felt like it was a dream come true to fight against one of the best, if not the best, heavyweights in the world.
"I'll be honest, I argued against taking the fight. I'd rather he have time to prepare and be at full strength... but he was adamant that this was a special opportunity and he wasn't going to pass on it and regret it later on. He said 'I'm a fighter... this is what I do.' How am I supposed to argue with that logic?"
Duffee was recently cut by the UFC following an unexpected loss to Mike Russow at UFC 114. Although Duffee dominated the entire fight, he was suddenly knocked out in the last round. Many fans feel that Duffee’s departure from the UFC was premature and that he remains one of the brightest heavyweight prospects in the sport, currently holding the fastest knockout victory in the UFC over Tim Hague at UFC 102. A win over the seemingly invincible Alistair Overeem would undoubtedly catapult Duffee into the sport’s spotlight once more.
Although a worthy opponent, Dream officials confirmed that Duffee was not the immediate pick for Overeem’s opponent at Dynamite!! 2010. Bobby Lashley, who is recognized for his involvement in the WWE as well belonging to the Strikeforce Heavyweight division, was originally tapped to take the fight. Negotiations fell through when Lashley requested a six-figure payday for the fight. Duffee ‘s camp settled for a slightly more modest amount for his appearance against Overeem. Duffee’s last fight in the UFC earned him $8,000.
Duffee’s manager expects that the fans will be thoroughly pleased with the fight:
“This may be the greatest pose down in MMA history… these guys look like they walked into the ring after competing in a bodybuilding contest. The great thing is that both of them can fight and both have serious power. Nobody is expecting this thing to go all three rounds.”