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Fabricio Werdum signs with Strikeforce; Fight against Alistair Overeem questionable ... for now

Fabricio Werdum -- widely regarded as a top 10 heavyweight mixed martial artist -- is now an official Strikeforce employee, according

And while rumors have swirled that "Vai Cavalo" will challenge Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem at the promotion’s next offering, "Lawler vs. Shields" at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., on June 6, company CEO Scott Coker says not so fast.

Here’s a snip:

"Yeah, but that's not a fight [Overeem vs. Werdum] necessarily we feel we'd have to do first … there are some other free agents out there, and guys fighting with other companies who aren't exclusive. So we'll explore those options before we make the announcement of who [Overeem is] fighting."

Werdum was recently dropped from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) when the parties were unable to come to terms on a new contract after his surprising 81-second knockout loss to Octagon newcomer Junior Dos Santos at UFC 90: "Silva vs. Cote" on October 15.

The Brazilian left the promotion with an even record (2-2), scoring big wins over Brandon Vera and Gabriel Gonzaga and perhaps bigger losses to Andrei Arlovski and "Cigano." Werdum remains a very capable and dangerous fighter who could very well give Overeem all he can handle, but it may happen later rather than sooner.

Overeem recently lost a close decision to World GP 2008 Champion Remy Bonjasky in the K-1 event just last month. Prior to the setback, "Demolition Man" had won five straight consecutive bouts, including a first round destruction of former K-1 heavyweight champion Badr Hari at the Fields Dynamite!! super show on Dec. 31.

Now that he has made it clear the he intends to return to the United States in two months to defend his belt, it appears that the hunt for a noteworthy and deserving opponent is already under way.

Stay tuned.

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