It was a long, occasionally bumpy ride to arrive at tonight’s Strikeforce Grand Prix Final but not necessarily an unrewarding one with the eventual pay-off worth the wait. Throughout the year-plus build fans have witnessed the destruction of Fedor Emelianenko, a few beautifully brutal knockouts, and the emergence of unbeaten heavyweight Daniel Cormier as a legitimate force in MMA. Cormier looked sharp in his bout against Josh Barnett, bloodying him with elbows after a handful of successful takedowns as well as picking the PRIDE legend apart while standing. The win improved Cormier’s overall record to 10-0 and snapped an eight-fight winning streak for “The Warmaster”.
After the fight Barnett announced he’d broken the “ever-living hell” out of his hand in the first frame after landing a stiff left hook to Cormier’s head.
In addition to Cormier’s clash with seasoned veteran Barnett the show also featured lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez meeting familiar face Josh Thomson in a “rubber match” after splitting their first two tilts with “El Nino” barely escaping with the belt in tow after a hotly contested five-rounder, as well as former light heavyweight title-holder Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante avenging a 2009 knockout loss to Mike Kyle by tapping the AKA product out in the opening round of action.
A full list of outcomes can be found below:
Bobby Green def. James Terry via Split Decision
Quinn Mulhern vs. Yuri Villefort via Split Decision
Gian Villante def. Derrick Mehmen via Unanimous Decision
Guto Inocente def. Virgil Zwicker via Unanimous Decision
Isaac Vallie-Flagg def. Gesias Cavalcante via Split Decision
Chris Spang def. Nah-Shon Burrell via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Rafael Cavalcante def. Mike Kyle via Submission Round 1 (Guillotine Choke)
Gilbert Melendez def. Josh Thomson via Split Decision
Daniel Cormier def. Josh Barnett via Unanimous Decision
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE