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Report: Arlovski vs. Rogers added to June 6 Strikeforce event

Courtesy of The Fight Network (re-printed with permission):

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will step in for injured Strikeforce heavyweight titleholder Alistair Overeem against Team Bison member Brett “The Grim” Rogers at “Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields” on June 6.

Overeem has pulled out of the fight with a hand injury.

The Fight Network learned of the heavyweight contest from sources close to both fighters.

Rogers (9-0) is coming off a second-round TKO win over Abongo Humphrey at “Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz” on April 11. A veteran of the now-defunct Elite Xtreme Combat organization, Rogers boasts wins over heavyweight sluggers Jon Murphy and James Thompson.

Arlovski (15-6), meanwhile, has not seen action since challenging Fedor Emelianenko for the WAMMA heavyweight title at “Affliction: Day of Reckoning” on January 24. Training under Freddie Roach, one of boxing’s most highly acclaimed coaches, the Belarussian hopes to rebound from a first-round knockout against “The Last Russian Emperor” and move one step closer to putting gold back around his waist.

“The Pitbull,” who will be making his first appearance for the California-based Strikeforce promotion, was initially rumored to make his professional boxing debut in the aftermath of the loss to Emelianenko. But Arlovski is now set to return to his mixed martial arts roots against the less experienced Rogers.

A former UFC heavyweight champion, Arlovski has recorded wins over Roman Zentsov, Vladimir Matyushenko, Wesley Correira, Tim Sylvia, Paul Buentello, Fabricio Werdum, Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson throughout his 10-year career.
The winner of this fight will likely go on to challenge heavyweight kingpin Overeem for the title later this year.

“Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields” is set to emanate from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.

In the main event, two former EliteXC champions will collide as Robbie Lawler takes on Jake Shields in a 182-pound catchweight bout.

Rounding out the main card is a 180-pound catchweight bout featuring Nick Diaz, fresh off a win over MMA pioneer Frank Shamrock, against Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith. Additionally, “Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields” will feature a light heavyweight affair between former UFC heavyweight champ Kevin “The Monster” Randleman and Affliction veteran Mike Whitehead, plus a welterweight contest between UFC veterans Phil Baroni and Joe Riggs.

A light heavyweight bout between Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Jared Hamman is expected to headline the preliminary card, which also features Jesse Finney vs. Josh Baumgartner, Tyron Woodley vs. Sal Woods, Scott Ventimiglia vs. Lucas Lopes, Pat Benson vs. Dave Cochran and Booker DeRousse vs. James Wade.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    This is going to be one loaded card. Its great to hear AA is fighting again and against a beast like Rodgers. Every fight on this main card makes me want to see this event, looks like strikeforce is really working to be the best.

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  • Joseph says:

    This has GOT to be one of the best events of the year!
    That card is ABSOLUTELY stacked!!!

    Great job Strikeforce!!!

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    Since when has Fedor been called “The Last Russian Emperor”?

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  • Joseph says:

    Fedor has been called that for a while, but he has many nicknames. =)

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    I’ve always heard ” The Last Emperor”. I’m with you on this card Joseph. It’s a lot more stacked than most UFC cards. I’ll be looking forward to this one. My prediction is Arlovski by 2nd round TKO.

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  • Orwell says:

    I like Rogers and think he’s a contender. Heavy hands and AA’s chin don’t play well together. I think he can get the KO, as long as he doesn’t get disqualified for grabbing Arlovski’s beard. :D

    Agree with the rest of the posters here saying this is a magic card. So much to look forward to.

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  • mu_shin says:

    Definitely got some good matches for this Strikeforce event, and it should be a good night of fights.

    Have to take issue with the Arlovski/Rogers matchup however. Just watched some video on Brett Rogers, who is big, 6’5″, 265, looks strong, but hardly impressive. The fights I saw he knocked out some regional/local level palookas who demonstrated heart but few skills. Overeem would have killed this guy, and Rogers seems fortunate Alistair got hurt.

    Not a great career move for Arlovski, looking to re-establish himself after the crushing knockout loss to Fedor. If he wins, he beats a guy who is 9-0, but undefeated against regional/local level guys, not the kind of victory that raises a fighter’s profile to any great degree. If Rogers scores the puncher’s chance KO, where does that leave Arlovski? Arlovski should cut this guy up with his speed and accuracy, and knock him out two minutes into round one, unless Rogers is cut in the Carwin mold with an iron jaw, and then who knows?

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  • wardog says:

    I am a big Arlovski fan, but I have to say I think his training under Roach is ruining his career. Roach maybe a great boxing coach, but he is also a guy who does not watch MMA nor does he care about the ground game. His idea is that the “crisp” boxing strikes and so forth are mixing from MMA plays into the hands of other MMA fighters. Maybe against Rogers this will work, but overall I think in the long run it will hurt Andrei, who already was one of the better strikers in the heavyweight division. And I wonder what this says for Afflictions card in August?

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    fuck even the undercard looks dope. hope they release these events somewhere where we can get the undercard. also dont think anyone should under estimate Brett Rogers. i think he has the beating of most people on the feet purely due to being a behemoth !

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  • Hohlraum says:

    My first live MMA event and its going to kick serious butt :) Lots of my all time favourite fighters!

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