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DREAM 15: Alistair Overeem vs Ricco Rodriguez possible for July 10 in Saitama (Updated)


***Update: MMA Fighting brings word from Overeem's trainer that his participation is unlikely and that a decision to compete on July 10 will be made by the end of the week.

Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem may continue his overseas exploits when he does battle with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez at the upcoming DREAM 15 event scheduled for July 10 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

DREAM officials today informed of the pending match-up.

Overeem (33-11) returned to the states after a lengthy fight tour in Japan, stopping Brett "The Grim" Rogers via technical knockout to retain the division title he earned with a submission win over Paul "The Headhunter" Buentello way back in 2007.

Of course all the talk over the past few days has surrounded his pending title defense against Fabricio Werdum, who submitted "Demolition Man" while they competed under the now-defunct PRIDE banner.

"Vai Cavalo" earned his shot at the hulking Dutchman by upsetting the heavily-favored Fedor Emelianenko at the June 26 Strikeforce event in San Jose.

Unfortunately for the Brazilian, back-to-back Strikeforce fights don't seem to be high on Overeem's priority list. In addition to throwing hands in K-1, the Golden Glory standout has a 3-0 (1 NC) record for DREAM and is widely considered to be one of Japan's top heavyweight attractions.

That probably won't mean a whole lot to Rodriguez (42-11), who's also done his share of traveling. "Suave" has competed for both the UFC and PRIDE, but is perhaps best known for his public battles with obesity and drug abuse, even appearing on the "Celebrity Rehab" reality show with Dr. Drew.

Outside of his personal issues, Rodriguez is a world-class talent. In addition to capturing the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) title in 1998 (open weight), he defeated Randy Couture at UFC 39 to win the promotion's vacant heavyweight title in 2002.

The New York native returned to a slim and trim physique in 2010, competing four times in regional promotions and going 4-0 with four (T)KO finishes. If Rodriguez is indeed "back," Overeem is going to have his hands full.

DREAM 15 will feature a light heavyweight grand prix as well as a highly anticipated lightweight title fight between bitter rivals Shinya Aoki and Tatsuya Kawajiri.

For more on the July 10 event click here.

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