Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem will put his title on the line when he makes his anticipated return to the promotion against Brett Rogers at “Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery” on May 15 in St. Louis, Strikeforce confirmed on Sunday.
The matchup was believed to be non-title when it was first-reported earlier this month, based largely on Rogers losing his most-recent fight to Fedor Emelianenko in November, but despite the challenger coming off a loss, Strikeforce will put the belt up for grabs for the first time in two-and-a-half years.
Overeem (32-11) claimed the title with a November 2007 win over Paul Buentello, and has since reeled off seven-straight first-round stoppages while fighting overseas, including a first-round KO of Kazuyuki Fujita in his most-recent fight in December at Dynamite!! 2009.
Rogers (10-1), a former EliteXC contender, scored a 22-second knockout of Andrei Arlovski last June to improve to 10-0, but suffered his first loss with a second-round TKO to the top-ranked heavyweight Emelianenko in November on CBS.
“Heavy Artillery” also features Andrei Arlovski vs. Antonio Silva and is rumored to include is also rumored to include Antwain Britt vs. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, Roger Gracie vs. Kevin Randleman, and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro vs. Lyle Beerbohm.
Pictured: Brett Rogers