With just over a week before the heavyweight takeover the UFC 146 main card, the Strikeforce heavyweights take center stage on Saturday as Strikeforce finally complete their heavyweight grand prix. Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier will square off in the night’s main event to crown a Strikeforce grand prix champion in what is likely the promotions the second to last heavyweight bout.
With all eyes on Barrnett and Cormier within the heavyweight division, the UFC 146 heavyweights gave their predictions and surprisingly they all picked the same person. Despite having the lesser experience and facing a former UFC heavyweight champion and PRIDE® Grand Prix finalist, the fighters picked Daniel Cormier, who had entered the tournament as a replacement for Alistair Overeem in the second round.
“They are both great fighters and this is a fight that could end very quickly for each guy. But Cormier is more explosive and has the better chances to end this early. It could be very exciting, but I think Cormier wins,” said the reigning UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.
“I think Cormier takes this. I can’t see Barnett getting him to the ground, his wrestling is too strong. And on the feet I think Cormier has the power to end things. But with two top heavyweights, anything can happen. That’s why this division is so exciting – anyone who is world-class can beat anyone else with one punch. You can’t say that about the lighter weight classes and that’s why heavyweight fights are so cool to watch,” said former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
“I pick Daniel Cormier. Number one, because I train with him but also because he’s so hungry in this sport, I don’t think he will be denied. He was really raw when he came into our gym the first time a couple of years ago but he picked up everything a lot faster than most. He has dangerous strikes and I can’t see Josh getting him to the ground. Daniel’s wrestling is too good; I think he takes this fight and makes a statement about his future in the division,” said former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
“I think Cormier will win this fight and be the Grand Prix Champion. I was very surprised by him in our fight. I think he is too strong, too powerful in this fight. He punches very hard and his wrestling is very good. I think he will win inside the distance unless Josh Barnett gets this to the ground quickly,” said Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, who lost to Cormier in the semifinals.
The Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix Finale takes place this Saturday night in San Jose and will air live on Showtime.
Quotes were taken from UFC press release