Saturday night’s Strikeforce Heavyweight World Grand Prix results









Last night’s main card of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix Tournament at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio didn’t take long. The fight card featuring the four heavyweights in the Grand Prix semifinal bouts took less than 10 minutes.


Now only two fighters remain in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, after Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier scored their impressive victories.

Josh Barnett

In the main event, former UFC heavyweight champ and PRIDE superstar Josh Barnett earned his spot in the finals with a dominating first round submission of Sergei Kharitonovof Russia.

Sergei Kharitonov

Early on, Kharitonov was swinging for the fences and landing more than a few heavy shots to the head. In no time he had Barnett’s face red. The Washington native was taking some big shots as well and then he got Kharitonov down on the mat and quickly mounted him. From that point on, it was just a matter of time before either the referee stopped the bout or Kharitonov tapped as Barnett kept brutalizing his foe and firing away with the ground strikes. The right hooks followed the left hooks. With 90 seconds left in the round, Barnett saw the opening he needed to apply a head and arm triangle choke to force the tap at the 4:28 mark of the first round. With the win, Barnett upped his record to 31-5 and Kharitonov falls to 18-5.

Daniel Cormier

In the preceding match, Daniel “DC” Cormier (8-0), a late replacement for the injured Alistair Overeem, was seen as a huge underdog. No one except for the members of his own MMA team, gave the Lafayette, Louisiana native a shot at defeating the seasoned pro, the 6’4,” 264 pound giant, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva (16-3). But the unbeaten, two-time Olympic wrestling champion, made it look easy. His plan of attack was a three punch combination. First came the stiffest of jabs, followed by a solid left hook and then he came back the other way with this powerful right uppercut.

Antonio "Big Foot" Silva

So what’s Cormier’s prize? Cormier earned himself a place in the finals against the even tougher Barnett.

“I fought one of the top five heavyweights in the world and knocked him out,” said Cormier who now goes to 9-0. “Give me some respect now.”

Most likely Silva figured the former wrestler was going to want to wrestle. But that never happened. Cormier came out like a pro boxer and kept catching his opponent with solid left hooks to jar the big fellow over and over again. Twice Silva remained on his back and twice Cormier backed off to bring the giant back to his feet. Referee Greg Franklin halted the bout at the 3:56 mark when he saw the big guy getting thumped repeatedly and offering no defense.

In his first bout since losing his Strikeforce light heavyweight title to Rafael Cavalcante back on August 21 of last year, and then enduring a nearly 13 month layoff due to knee surgery, King Mo Lawal of San Jose, CA got back on track with a first round KO of the previously unbeaten Roger Gracie.

Lawal took the role of aggressor in this one as he walked Gracie down and kept lowering his left hand to invite a counter from Gracie that never came. So with no incoming fire to deal with, he decided to go to work, and all it took was one big right hand to drop the renowned jiu-jitsu champion. A second right hand stiffened Gracie, and the referee called a halt to this bout at 4:33 of the first round. With the win, Lawal improves to 8-1 while Gracie falls to 4-1.

Gracie is a seven-time world champion in Jiu-Jitsu, three-time open weight world champion and in 2005 he fought in the ADCC, winning by submission in all eight of his fights. Now that you have all these guys throwing the big knockout blows, the strictly wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu fighters are going to have to learn how to box.

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