Alistair Overeem’s heavyweight title won’t be on the line during Strikeforce’s upcoming heavyweight grand prix, with the winner instead earning a shot at the belt unless Overeem himself wins the eight-man tournament.
Strikeforce announced the tournament rules on Thursday in contrast to rumors that the belt would be on the line in each round, with the eventual tournament winner holding the title.
Instead, all fights will be three-rounds except for the finals, which will be five-rounds for the Strikeforce Grand Prix championship.
In the case of a tie, an independent fourth judge will decide who advances, while a five-person committee will pick a replacement if a winning fighter is injured, with choices including their previous opponent and reserve winners.
Strikeforce’s heavyweight tournament kicks off with Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov on Feb. 12, followed by Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers in April.
The semifinals are planned for July followed by the finals in October.