Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem will return to the San Jose-based promotion after nearly two years of fighting overseas to defend his belt against former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight standout Fabricio Werdum at the "Carano vs. Cyborg" event from the HP Pavilion on August 15.
MMAmania.com confirmed the bout with Strikeforce officials earlier today.
Overeem captured the heavyweight title with a second round submission win over Paul Buentello back in 2007 after repeated knees to the body forced "The Headhunter" to call it quits. "Demolition Man" has since been employed in Japan, racking up a 3-0 record in MMA (1 NC) and a 1-1 record under the K-1 banner during that span.
His most recent mixed martial arts action was against 43-year old accomplished kickboxer and UFC veteran Gary Goodridge at a Glory MMA show in front of his own countrymen in Arnhem, Netherlands last November. Overeem won that bout via first round submission in yet another dominating performance.
Just how far Overeem has improved since his PRIDE days could ultimately be decided when he rematches Werdum on August 15. "Vai Cavalo" holds a second round submission win over the hulk from Holland when they tangled at PRIDE: "Total Elimination Absolute" in May 2006.
The Brazilian had gone 2-2 after joining the UFC in April 2007. After losing a cautious slapfest against Andrei Arlovski at UFC 70, Werdum put together two straight TKO victories over Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera, only to get bounced from the promotion when he was upset (and uppercut) by out-of-the-blue bruiser Junior Dos Santos.
Now each man has a chance to erase some bad memories this August in what is sure to be an entertaining war between two very talented heavyweights.
Strikeforce: "Carano vs. Cyborg" will feature a 145-pound title fight between female fighting sensation Gina "Conviction" Carano and her nemesis Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos as well as a lightweight title unification bout between reigning champ Josh "The Punk" Thomson and interim champ Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez.
For all the latest on this still-developing fight card click here.