Tumbling, tumbling down, to see how far it goes.
The ongoing saga of Alistair Overeem and his being released by Zuffa has taken yet another turn to the bizarre. Apparently, "The Reem" has not been released by Strikeforce and he is still the promotion's heavyweight champion.
This according to a recent report from ESPN, who go on to say that Overeem is currently in a negotiation period with Zuffa:
Despite exercising its right to terminate the final fight on Alistair Overeem's contract, Forza LLC, which operates Strikeforce and is a subsidiary of UFC's parent company, Zuffa LLC, has not released the Strikeforce heavyweight champion.
Bas Boon, who represents Overeem through Dutch management firm Golden Glory, clarified to ESPN.com that the 31-year-old fighter is currently "in a negotiation period with Zuffa." Boon declined to discuss details, though sources familiar with the arrangement between Overeem and Strikeforce explained the fighter is bound to exclusive and separate 120-day negotiation and matching periods with the Las Vegas-based promoter.
This comes on the heels of the recent statement released by Golden Glory stating they have absolutely no problems with complying to the contractual demands made by Zuffa, namely that its fighters get paid directly.
Boon even went a step further and offered the UFC an exclusive contract for "Demolition Man," who has been entertaining the idea of boxing (or posturing, depending on your leanings) and is always itching to compete in kickboxing.
There may be a small issue with that, however. Apparently, Overeem is still the Strikeforce heavyweight champion thanks to the dreaded "champions clause."
In addition to the exclusive negotiation period and, if necessary, a subsequent matching timeframe, a source with knowledge of Overeem's contract said the fighter was not stripped of his Strikeforce belt and remains tied to the promotion via the so-called "champions clause," a common passage in fighter contracts that allows MMA promoters to maintain contractual rights to titleholders after their deals expire.
This, of course, does not mean a deal cannot be worked out between Overeem and UFC leading to the deadly Dutchman competing inside the Octagon.
But with the heavyweight grand prix set to conclude sometime early next year, it would seem prudent to get Overeem back in the fold so the winner of said tournament can challenge for the heavyweight title, the way most believe it should have been all along.
Or "The Reem" could simply drop the belt and jump to the UFC and the winner of the grand prix becomes the new champion.
Obviously, there are plenty of options available for all involved and it would seem as though we're inching closer and closer to resolution to a problem no one wanted or needed.
Good news, right? Any Maniacs want to play the bossman and figure out how everything will shake out in the coming weeks and months?
Let's hear it.