It was very apparent today that Alistair Overeem is fed up with the steroid questions and allegations. During the first part of the conference call for Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery in St. Louis, most questions were aimed around the strategy going into the fight on May 15th. Overeem started out talkative and with a mild demeanor but as the heat picked up in the questions, his answers became shorter and shorter as did his fuse.
He never snapped but he basically “checked out” of the call before it was over, wasting some journalists’ time who had been hoping for more in-depth analysis on his upcoming bout.
My own question I asked was if he believed that his recent Japanese MMA fights were good preparation for Brett Rogers, who is obviously a higher caliber fighter than James Thompson, Fujita and others. Pretty logical question, right? I mean he had been absent from the United States and picked up quick victories over opponents that are nowhere near title contention in any organization and before that he had defeated Paul Buentello for the Strikeforce belt. It should be a legitimate question that he may be facing a step up in competition that he might not be ready for.
His answer was one word and not a single word more. He just said “yes.” He confirmed that he felt his most recent fights were good challenges, yet he did not elaborate.
Brett Rogers, on the other hand, was quite polite and attentive for the whole call.
He seemed very determined and maybe a little eager to get the talking over with and put on some gloves, but he never shied away from any question and gave the media some funny sound bites.
I asked Brett Rogers how the Fedor fight had affected his confidence coming into St. Louis. While he did not score a win over Fedor, he did earn respect from the MMA community with the way he carried himself against the most prolific fighter of all time.
Rogers said that he gained a lot of confidence after the loss and learned a lot about himself as a fighter. He also said in the call that he has been working with MMA veteran Antonio McKee in preparation for Overeem.
The best quote from Rogers was in response to worries that may arise from being away from home. Rogers said he only has to worry about three things: Wake up, train and whoop ass.
Expect some big shots from Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery come May 15th.