Sports

MMA News: Overeem on Strikeforce, Cung Le, Chris Leben and More

| by Sports Nickel

Overeem appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour program at MMAFighting.com and proclaimed that he wasn’t going to fight this September for Strikeforce.

“Stikeforce has requested me to accept the fight for Sept. 10, to agree on that, but I have not agreed on it and I also had some emails, some questions asked, is the fight confirmed? No, the fight is not confirmed. I do not confirm it and I will not confirm it…I’ve had some threats of cutting me out of the tournament if I don’t participate. I don’t know if they’re going to do it. “For them to unilaterally declare, okay, [September 10] is going to be the second round, which I never agreed on, and then threaten me if I don’t want it, it…doesn’t really show a lot of respect.”

Dana White clarified with MMAJunkie.com the reason Overeem would not be participating. “Sept. 10 was the date Showtime wants us to go, so it’s the date we’ve got to go. It’s unfortunate that Alistair is unavailable, but situations like this are why there are alternates in the tournament…Overeem is under contract, and when his pinky toe heals up, we’ll get him another fight.” Yeah, I don’t really know who to believe. Maybe Overeem was trying for a power play to get more money or a new contract, or maybe he was just trying to act tough. And maybe Dana White didn’t want to deal with it and said ‘fine, you’re out. NEXT!’ I don’t know. But what I do know is that Daniel Cormier replacing Overeem sucks.

Cung Le told MMAWeekly.com that he wants to fight in the UFC. “Right now I don’t have any fights lined up, but I actually reached out to Dana [White] and Lorenzo [Fertitta] and let them know that I would love to fight in the UFC, so we’ll see. I had a Strikeforce contract and I was loyal to them and Scott Coker because we’ve been friends for so long, but now that everything’s under one umbrella, it will be an honor to fight for the UFC. As soon as I found out that Cain [Velasquez] is fighting in San Jose [Calif. at UFC 139] in November, I would definitely be open to being on that card. I think that would be pretty cool.” I would love to see this, but his contract would have to be up with Strikeforce for that to happen. I know both organizations are under the same roof, but it’s not that easy. But, if they get that worked out, I would love to see Le fight.

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The UFC’s U.K. branch announced that Chris Leben will meet Mark Munoz in Birmingham, England on November 5, and that bout will serve as main event of UFC 138 on Spike TV. Yeah, I don’t know about being a main event. The fight, I’m all for. But we have to have a better main event than that. But, at least it’s free

UFC officials announced that Tim Boetsch will meet Nick Ring at UFC 135 in a middleweight contest this September. This should be a close fight. Ring has looked better and better every time I see him, but Boetsch looked great in his debut at middleweight at UFC 130 against Kendall Grove. Should be interesting.

The UFC announced that two Ultimate Fighter veterans will meet on September’s UFC Fight Night 25 event in New Orleans, as DaMarques Johnson is set to take on Clay Harvison. Not bad. It’ll be on the preliminary portion of the card, so I hope we get to see it.