Some major match announcements came to light on Wednesday as the mixed martial arts worlds prepares to enter 2011. Starting with UFC 126 this weekend, the New Year is set to bring fight fans a large number of exciting matchups and drama filled battles.
Overeem Faces Former UFC Prospect
The Dynamite: The Power of Courage 2010 will host an exciting matchup between two big names within the heavyweight division. Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem will face off against former UFC employee, Todd Duffee.
Overeem had been announced as participating on the card; however an opponent was not confirmed. Rumors had stretched to involve Duffee and even Strikeforce fighter and former pro wrestler Bobby Lashley. However, today it was reported by various MMA news outlets, including Sherdog.com, that Duffee has been offered the fight and that negotiations are under way.
Overeem has been on a tear since his last defeat in 2007. During that time he has won matches on both sides of the Pacific Ocean in the DREAM ring and Strikeforce cage. Recently he won the gold medal at the K-1 World Grand Prix. The last time the “Demolition Man” defended the Strikeforce title he ran through Brett Rodgers in under 4 minutes.
Duffee was a prospect in the Ultimate Fighting Championship that had a lot of expectations on his shoulders. That was until he ran into Mike Russow at UFC 114 who knocked Duffee out late in the third round. Duffee was since cut from the UFC after a number of incidents involving the fighter and some controversial comments. Duffee is expected to fight a former Ultimate Fighter competitor, Abe Wagner during a Titan FC event. Duffee is best known for his seven second knockout of Tim Hague at UFC 102.
January 29th Strikeforce Event Grows
Nick Diaz now knows who he will face at the January 28th Strikeforce event. While many were expecting the grudge match between Diaz and Jason “Mayhem” Miller, the organization was unable to set that fight. Instead Diaz will defend his title against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. Santos, who is the husband of Strikeforce Women’s Middleweight Champion, Christine “Cyborg” Santos, does not carry the stellar record of a title competitor, but is expected to be a still challenge for Diaz. Throughout his career he has battled such names as Melvin Manhoef, Gegard Mousasi and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Diaz has been not suffered a loss since 2007 and is coming off a win over K.J. Noons in October. The Cesar Gracie protégé is well known for his brash tactics, but also the ability to back up his actions in the cage. Of his 23 victories, 19 have ended before going to the judges’ cards.
This fight is expected to be the headliner of the event which will include a title fight between Robbie Lawler and Ronaldo Souza, and the return of two big name draws; NFL Hall of Famer Herschel Walker and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu great, Roger Gracie.
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