The flux in the heavyweight division continued to intensify on May 15 in St. Louis.
Most of the heavyweight turnover we have seen recently in MMA was the result of young or developing prospects taking their anticipated place among the sport’s elite, with the likes of Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin and Junior dos Santos putting fighters and fans alike on notice. However, the Strikeforce “Heavy Artillery” show offered up a different kind of change.
After nearly two and a half years away from North America, Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem returned to stateside action and demolished Brett Rogers in less than four minutes. It extended Overeem’s unbeaten streak to nine MMA bouts but, most importantly, gave him the sort of win that was necessary to legitimize his place as an elite heavyweight in the current MMA climate.
Meanwhile, Andrei Arlovski -- who not long ago was riding an impressive five-fight winning streak that had him as high as number two in the world -- was soundly taken apart by Antonio Silva over three fairly one-sided rounds. For the monstrous Brazilian, it was the sort of victory that his backers always imagined he was capable of when he began his career five years ago.