Actually Canada liberated the Dutch, but whatever.
You know when you go to a house party or a bar with a bunch of friends, and one of your group is kinda being a shit-disturber, so the host/bouncer not only kicks him out but tells all of you to GTFO too? And your friend wasn’t doing anything that bad to begin with, so now even bystanders are looking at the guy like “dude, chill the fuck out.”
This story is kinda like that. And it’s also A LOT like that time back in 2008 when the UFC briefly fired Jon Fitch over video game rights, and then threatened to shit-can all the American Kickboxing Academy fighters en masse, including Josh Koscheck and then rising star Cain Velasquez. Everyone thought that was pretty fucking tyrannical at the time, but the two sides quickly came to terms (meaning AKA presumably gave in), and the whole thing soon blew over. Well get ready, cause Dana White’s guilty-by-association banhammer just struck again.
As if releasing Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem merely for not asking “how high?” when ordered to jump wasn’t heavy-handed enough, Zuffa/Forza has apparently brought its iron fist down upon the entire Golden Glory crew. According to head coach Martijn de Jong’s Twitter feed, Ubereem’s brother Valentijn, Jon Olav Einemo, and even just-decrowned womens champ Marloes Coenen have all been released from their contracts.
While Zuffa has yet to comment, the justification for this (at least legally) is presumably that all three fighters dropped their last bouts, but each is at least a bit unusual even if viewed in a vacuum. In particular, Coenen just lost her belt a few days ago, and was now at 3-2 under the Strikeforce banner, with her only other loss coming at the man-hands of Cris Cyborg. More importantly, since when does Zuffa cut a champ right after they lose the title anyway? Einemo was TKO’d in his debut against Dave “Pee Wee” Herman at UFC 131, but earned the “Fight of the Night” award in the process. I’m not sure it’s unheard-of for a FOTN winner to get fired afterwards, but it ain’t exactly common either… plus that was over 7 weeks ago. Valentijn Overeem was 1-1 with Strikeforce, though he did tap to strikes like a bitch and look generally shitty against Chad Sideburns, so to be honest I can kinda grant them that one.
Put all four firings together, and there’s simply no goddamn way it’s just a coincidence. This purge leaves Sergei Kharitonov as the sole surviving Golden Glory member under the Zuffa umbrella, presumably only because he won his last fight (and in sweet fashion). But one has to assume that he’ll most likely be on the chopping block too if he falls to Josh Barnett in the Grand Prix semifinals next month. That is unless everyone kisses and makes up first… meaning Golden Glory bends over and takes it up their collective ass, and/or Alistair takes one for the team and licks Dana’s hand like a good dog.
By the way, if you’re wondering how they could release Alistair after a win, apparently his contract allowed for it. Which to my knowledge is rather unusual, but his Strikeforce deal wasn’t the Zuffa norm to begin with, and his next contract negotiations would already have surely been contentious given his K-1 pursuits.