Strikeforce today announced that the promotion’s heavyweight title-holder Alistair Overeem will defend his title against Fabricio Werdum at its August 15 “Carano vs. Cyborg” event in San Jose, California.
The long-rumored matchup is the third championship bout on the Showtime-televised card, joining Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, who meet for the newly-created Strikeforce 145-pound Women’s Championship, as well as a lightweight title unification and rematch between Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez. Nick Diaz vs. Joe Riggs is also expected to be featured on the event’s main card.
Overeem and Werdum previously fought in May 2006 in PRIDE, with Werdum winning the bout via second-round submission.
The loss to Werdum started a stretch that saw Overeem (29-11-1) lose 5 of 7 fights, before rebounding to go unbeaten in five-straight bouts dating back to late-2007. Overeem began the unbeaten streak by winning the vacant Strikeforce heavyweight belt with a second-round submission (due to strikes) of Paul Buentello. He’s since won three more bouts, including wins over Mark Hunt and Gary Goodridge, as well as a no contest against Mirko Cro Cop, but has yet to defend the title.
Considered among the best heavyweights in the world, Werdum was rumored to be in line for a heavyweight title shot in the UFC following wins over Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera, but was cut by the promotion after suffering a first-round TKO to newcomer Junior dos Santos. The former Brazilian jiu-jitsu and ADCC world champion holds notable wins over Aleksander Emelianenko and Overeem, as well as losses to Andrei Arlovski and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.