You know, we've all been jumping the gun on a proposed Overeem vs. Emelianenko matchup that depends on a lot of stuff to go right before it'll actually happen. So I wanted to touch on another subject that I've thought about since Saturday night.
Can Strikeforce turn Alistair Overeem into a star here in the United States?
There was sort of a buzz about him leading up to his fight with Rogers, albeit for more negative reasons than anything due to most people's believe that he has taken steroids. The guy has three qualities that should make him a star:
1. He can fight and put people away
2. The guy is a physical specimen
3. He's articulate and can speak English
However, the response from the crowd after he knocked Brett Rogers into oblivion didn't seem overwhelming(Matt, maybe you can touch on this since you were there live). The crowd didn't go crazy when he called Fedor Emelianenko out during his post-fight interview. More than likely, some of that can be attributed to many people still not knowing who Fedor is in America. That can be attributed to Fedor's inability to speak the English language as well as inability to do interviews well. However, Fedor Emelianenko was still able to help Strikeforce get over 5 million eyeballs on his fight with Brett Rogers. Strikeforce did a decent job of promoting Fedor leading up to that fight though.
So if Strikeforce put the same amount of promotion around Alistar Overeem, you would think it would be possible right? Especially if they are able to put that fight together and Overeem were to beat Emelianenko right?
However, the past has shown that Strikeforce doesn't have a good track record of promoting their champions. Just look at Cyborg Santos, Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, and Cung Le when he was their champion. None of them have been promoted much at all, so I don't see where Overeem would really be any different. Maybe Strikeforce will prove me wrong on this one?