Strikeforce will hold a media conference call today (June 7, 2011) live at 2 p.m. ET in advance of Strikeforce: "Overeem vs. Werdum" which goes down next Saturday (June 18, 2011) in Dallas, Texas.
Overeem is the reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion and he's looking to avenge a 2006 loss to Werdum. Fabricio is also looking to prove that his 2010 first round triangle submission victory over Fedor Emelianenko was no fluke.
Gina Carano was expected to be on the call but she is now off the card after failing to be medically cleared.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker will be on the call in her place.
Live updates of the Strikeforce: "Overeem vs. Werdum" call after the jump.
Brian Hemminger here on standby. Call to begin shortly.
Wow, Scott Coker opens the call by stating that Gino Carano failed a medical examination and will not be on the card. KJ Noons vs Jorge Masvidal will be promoted to the main card. Gina expects to fight later this year.
On how he's preparing for Werdum...
Alistair Overeem: I focused on myself. I look at my opponent's strong points and weak points. I have a backup plan and a backup backup plan and I've been doing that for the last four years, becoming more professional all the time. Everybody has a growth factor that you have to consider. I try to get myself into good shape without overtraining and maintaining where I'm at.
On if he's looking at the dos Santos - Shane Carwin fight since they are both under the same banner.
Fabricio Werdum: Junior is going to win. I'd like to face him again someday.
On if the he thinks about the original fight for motivation.
Alistair Overeem: I have a lot of motivation. I'm just happy this fight is happening. We'll see next Saturday just how motivated I am.
On his side of the bracket being tougher
Alistair Overeem: It doesn't matter. To win, you'll have to face the strongest guys anyways. I'm a fighter so I'm never upset about a fight. I'm ready to get in there with Fabricio.
On the last fight in 2006
Fabricio Werdum: I beat him with a kimura back then and I'm hoping to beat him in the first round again. This will be a great fight.
On training for a cage since they last fought each other in a ring
Alistair Overeem:I like the idea of a ring. The cage is more safe. You can't fall out of it. I've added little stuff over the last few years. I train for the cage. Every professional needs to keep their surroundings into consideration and they need to use it to their advantage. I've been training differently now than in the last few years.
on Josh Barnett's licencing
Scott Coker: Josh will be fine. He's fighting in Texas on the 18th so we're moving forward.
On introducing himself to mainstream sports fans
Alistair Overeem: I view this Grand Prix as an opportunity to show not only to the US fans but fans around the world that I'm number one. This tournament holds many names, big names. Every fighter is good, experienced and you have to beat the best to become the best.
Fabricio Werdum: I can't wait for the fight on the 18th. I haven't fought in one year and I have a big surprise for everybody.
Alistair Overeem: My plan is (to unite the UFC and Strikeforce belts) but lets take it one fight at a time. It will be an incredible fight with Werdum. I don't want to give away my strategy for dealing with Werdum's jiu-jitsu but let's just say I'm ready and I'm eager to show the fans what I got.
On how he views the American market
Alistair Overeem: I see the American market as the future. Japan has some problems and especially now with the disaster. It has moved to the US. I definitely want to make an impact in this tournament and with this fight. I definitely see myself fighting in the States in the future. Let's focus on this fight for now and see where it goes.
On how this fight will be different than their 2006 match
Alistair Overeem: you will see a way more aggressive Alistair Overeem. I'll be looking for the knockout from the first second. I'm a different fighter now. Do I consider him having some technique? Of course he's been training for my weapons and he's confident but I'm confident as well. We'll see how plays out.
On facing Cain Velasquez
Alistair Overeem: If I win the tournament, of course I'd love to face the UFC champion
Fabricio Werdum: If I win the Grand Prix, I will look to unite the titles and be the champ of the UFC.
On when the next round will happen.
Scott Coker: We're planning early fall. We'll have it announced in a week or so. If the tournament finals carries over into 2012 but finishes in a calender year, that would be sufficient.
On hanging with Overeem in the stand-up
Fabricio Werdum: Overeem is very good standing and I'm very good on the ground. It'll be a fight of the best standing versus the best on the ground. I will do my job. I will show the world and beat him again.
On title implications in the lightweight division.
Scott Coker: KJ Noons vs Jorge Masvidal will have title implications and so will JZ Cavalcante vs Justin Wilcox. It will depend on their performance.
That concludes the call.