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Alistair Overeem Confirms He Will Not Fight Ricco Rodriguez At DREAM.15

Alistair Overeem via MMA Fighting:

"During my training I found out that Andrei Arlovski was not going to be my opponent, and they changed opponents numerous times. I've heard names like Tim Sylvia and Minowa. At one point, I received notice that they had found a opponent but that the Dream heavyweight title was not on the line anymore. With all the changes and the title fight no longer a possibility, I simply had to turn down the opportunity.

"The next day, I immediately took a flight to San Jose to hype up my possible fight against the winner of Fedor Emelianenko or Fabricio Werdum. I then heard rumors that Dream had booked me in a fight against Ricco Rodriguez. I want to make it very clear that I never verbally agreed to fight him and I never signed a contract with Dream to fight him. I feel very sorry for Ricco Rodriguez's camp if they still think the fight is on, and I apologize to my fans that have bought a ticket to see me compete. I hope this statement has shed some light on the unfortunate situation."

It is fairly understandable for Alistair to not want to take a fight without knowing who his opponent will be and having it change several times. Japan has to hit a point where they are able to put together cards far in advance and stop leaving it until the week leading up to an event that fights are getting announced. This was always an issue in PRIDE but the paychecks were big enough to prevent any "need" for them to improve. Now with the decline in the Japanese MMA world it is time to take queues from the successful promotions and advance the professionalism.