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Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett to meet in the Heavyweight Grand Prix Finals

| September 11, 2011 | Reply

Strikeforce’s world heavyweight grand prix has come to the final match and what began as a chance to generate buzz and viewers has delivered in every aspect, watching a legend crumble, a champion be removed, another former champion get a chance at redemption and a young wrestler prove to everyone why he is not to be counted short.

Daniel Cormier was a late replacement for an injured (and later fired) Alistair Overeem in the semi final round, going against the veteran Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt and much bigger Antonio Silva. With his first right hand landing on the chin, it sent “Bigfoot” to the mat, multiple more shots rocked him until an uppercut sent him reeling to the ground and was finished off with hammer fists. The always improving Cormier has showcased that he has more than Olympic wrestling in his arsenal and is now a contender in the heavyweight scene.

“The War Master” Josh Barnett is regarded as the greatest catch wrestler in MMA; his inside leg throw of Kharitonov last night showed that even if you are able to strike with the former UFC champ, he will get the fight where he wants it and dictate the outcome. Barnett smothered the Russian, landing shots until he was able to secure an arm triangle (similar to the finishing of Brett Rodgers) to set the stage for a legitimate battle between Cormier and Barnett in early 2012.

In a fight where the wrestling advantage can go to the AKA fighter, Barnett will still likely try to get this fight to the ground where he can once again win via submission. Standing in front of Cain Velasquez’s training partner would not be wise as he has shown increasing skill in the striking department. That said, if he is advancing in every aspect of MMA, Cormier may be advancing quickly in Guerilla Jiu Jitsu (under AKA coach, Dave Camarillo) and could be able to nullify Barnett’s attempts on the ground.

This fight is the definition of what a grand prix should produce when put together – the best men in their division getting an honest shot for the win and ultimately the crown. It is showcasing how someone young in their career (Cormier) and someone who has faced controversy alongside success in multiple organizations over multiple years (Barnett) can silence critics and fans who count them out in favor of the bigger names that were originally in the bracket (Overeem, Fedor, Silva).

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Tags: Antonio Silva, Daniel Cormier, Exclusive, Heavyweight, Josh Barnett, MMA, preview, Sergei Kharitonov, Strikeforce, Strikeforce Grand Prix, Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix

Category: Exclusive, Featured, MMA, Strikeforce

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