TXMMA – Texas Mixed Martial Arts

Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier – World Heavyweight Grand Prix concludes this Saturday Night on Showtime

March 18, 2012 – It’s finally here! The long-awaited resolution of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix heavyweight tournament takes place this Saturday night, May 19th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

“The Baby-Faces Assassin” AKA “The Warmaster” Josh Barnett with be taking on former Olympic wrestler turned top MMA fighter Daniel Cormier for the right to be called the grand prix champion after facing some of the top heavyweights in the world.

Both finalists scored convincing wins to get to this point with Cormier dispatching of Antonio Silva via first round KO in the semi-final round while Barnett did likewise with a first round submission over top Russian Sergei Kharitanov.

While each earned their way to the top, they also face some doubters.

For Barnett, he’ll be going into the main event seeking to disprove the myth that his lengthy experience as a pro fighter is going to neutralized by his opponent’s own experience, not in the cage but on the mats as a top amateur grappler before turning pro himself.

“I don’t care what people say,” Barnett said recently. “I see my experience as being the biggest advantage in this fight. All that experience comes with all the years of training and all the fights I’ve had and all the different opponents, (basically) all the times I’ve been in the ring as a pro wrestler, as a fighter. Experience is a pretty easy word to throw around. But I don’t think it’s as simple to just say experience. I have to believe ultimately in everything I do and everything I possess. So it’s the same as before and the same that it’s always going to be.”

As for Comier, he’ll have to go in and prove that he isn’t the underdog most pundits consider him to be in this fight.

“Josh was a UFC champion and he’s done a ton of things,” he said. “He’s beaten a lot of guys, but I’ve beaten quite a few of those guys too and I know I can do pretty well against the other ones, so I take it in stride. I should be the underdog because of his experience and his accomplishments, but I’ll be ready to go.”

Aside from the heavyweight main event, another notable title will be on the line in the form of the Strikeforce lightweight belt, currently held by Team GracieFighter’s Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez.

He’ll be taking on a familiar opponent in Josh “The Punk” Thompson. Gilbert actually lost this same title to Thompson during their first go-around back in 2008 before officially winning it back from him in 2009 and holding onto it ever since.

They’ll now look to settle the score conclusively in this rubber match.

The rest of the card set for the SHOWTIME network features two other potentially exciting fights with Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante taking on Mike Kyle in a light heavyweight bout while prospect Nah-Shon Burrell takes on fellow up-and-comer Chris Spang in a welterweight contest.

The main card on Showtime is expected to kick off at 10PM EST / 11PM Central.



Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament Final
Josh Barnett (31-5) vs. Daniel Cormier (9-0)

Lightweight Championship
Gilbert Melendez (20-2) vs. Josh Thomson (19-4)

Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante (11-3) vs. Mike Kyle (19-8)
Nah-Shon Burrell (8-1) vs. Chris Spang (4-1)



JZ Cavalcante (16-4) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (12-3)
Guto Inocente (5-0) vs. Virgil Zwicker (10-2)
Derrick Mehmen (12-4) vs. Gian Villante (9-3)
Quinn Mulhern (17-2) vs. Yuri Villefort (6-0)
Bobby Green (17-5) vs. James Terry (11-4)