A matchup between heavyweights Ray Sefo (2-0 MMA, 1-0 SF) and Valentijn Overeem (28-25 MMA, 0-0 SF) is targeted for the supporting cast of Strikeforce’s recently announced eight-man heavyweight tournament.
Sources close to negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that contracts have not been signed, but verbal agreements are in place. An announcement on the fight is expected soon.
The tentatively-titled “Strikeforce in New Jersey” is set for Feb. 12 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. Its main card airs live on Showtime.
Yesterday, MMAjunkie.com reported news that the East Coast event will be headlined by the first and second quarterfinal pairings of the tournament. Andrei Arlovski will face off with Sergei Kharitonov, and the returning Fedor Emelianenko will meet Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
It is unknown whether Sefo vs. Overeem will be a part of the evening’s televised main card, though one source said the matchup is targeted for the preliminary card.
Overeem, the older brother of Strikeforce heavyweight champion (and DREAM interim heavyweight champion) Alistair Overeem, makes his promotional debut after an injury forced him to withdraw from a planned matchup with Silva this past month at “Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu.” Silva went on to meet Mike Kyle and battled back from an early knockdown to knockout Kyle.
Valentijn Overeem enjoys back-to-back knockout victories on his current resume, though his 14-year career in MMA is marked by steep ups and downs.
Sefo returns to action for the first time since picking up his second victory in MMA, a TKO win over UFC vet Kevin Jordan at Strikeforce Challengers 3 this past August. It had been four years since he dabbled in the sport with a one-fight appearance in the now-defunct K-1 Hero’s, where he knocked out Min-Soo Kim with a kick.
Sefo’s bread and butter is kickboxing. He’s fought pretty much everyone under the sun during a 14-year career in K-1, though he’s in recent years transitioned to a coach’s role in MMA and works closely with the fighters of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
He most recent K-1 appearance came this past October when he took on Tyrone Spong at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 and lost a decision. (Spong went on to lose a decision to eventual 2010 K-1 Grand Prix champ Alistair Overeem.)