Strikeforce Grand Prix Final Results: Daniel Cormier beats Josh Barnett, Gilbert Melendez holds on to title

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

32 COMMENTS
  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    The Zwicker/Inocente fight was a ton of fun!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Dachman says:

    Watching a feed online on Euro Sport 2, the announcer is the worst I have ever heard. He doesn’t know any terminology. At least it’s free…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Frank got his braces off!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Zwicker is a crazy Indian. I say that respectfully.

    Marquardt look like a deer in headlights during his interview. I hope he can get his career back on track.

    Timmy is going to get the belt from Rockhold.

    Gil is a very good fighter but calling him the best 155er is sort of a joke.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • MCM says:

    1st to Thompson or a draw
    2nd and 3rd to Gilbert
    4th to Thompson
    5th to Thompson

    Thompson by UD or the fights ruled a Draw. No way Gilbert won that.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • Dachman says:

    Josh Thompson is a little too happy after losing.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Another very entertaining fight between Thomson and Melendez. Close enough that it’s tough to complain about either guy getting the nod.

    But I’d tend to agree with MCM that Thomson should’ve come away with that with a draw at worst, if not a wvictory. Super close fight, Gil is the big name, so that’s the way it goes. But as I posted above (before the fight) don’t insult our intelligence by proclaiming Gil as the top 155er in the world. If you’rew a Diaz brother and train with him, combined with the heavy pot residue running thru your system, it’s totally understandable. But otherwise, c’mon. He’s Clay Guida with a little better striking and a littler worse wrestling.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Barnett is a tough experienced fighter certainly capable of winning, but I’ve gotta pick Cormier. By all accounts he’s get abnormal strength, picking up striking incredibly quickly to go along with his elite level wrestling. I view this as Cormier’s fight to lose.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Barnett is a stud. For a 5 round fight, I’m amazed how well two *heavyweights* hung in there. But Cormier is a friggin beast.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Richard did you just say Gil has a little bit better striking than Guida? That is just blind hate or UFC favoritism whichever one you’re wrong. Gil has great striking, the way he controlled Thomson with the jab, the fact that he outlanded Thomson by 30 strikes and by 21 power strikes.

    Gil has great flow with his striking, he has decent power and pretty good combos. The way he just peppered Masvidal was pretty good, if that’s not evidence of Gil’s striking being a few levels above Guida’s then you’re just biased. His footwork is pretty good and he would give any of the good strikers at 155 a run for their money, that’s why he’s a top LW.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    And did I mention, FRANK GOT HIS BRACES OFF!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    This was not the first time I’d seen Cormier, but it’s the first time I’ve been impressed by him. Incredibly quick and accurate striking, great angles and combos, and a hell of a gas tank for 230+lb man. That’s not even mentioning his wrestling. I still think DC should be fighting at LHW, but when you win like that against that level of competition, he can fight in what ever weight class he’s wants. Very impressive.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    I got no problem calling Gil one of the top guys in the LW division. But for these people (including fighters & broadcasters) proclaiming him as the top 155er, that’s the crazy talk.

    We can argue semantics, but the bottom line to me is Gil has better striking & worse wrestling than a guy like Guida. As overall fighters, and most importantly in terms of level of competition they’ve each faced, I think they’re on par with each other. That’s my point. And as much as we all love Clay, nobody is trying to call him the best LW fighter on the planet.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  • Niv says:

    I really didn’t think Cormier was going to arrive as fast as he has. I think he’s at the top of the food chain after this one. Get him in the UFC and give him a title shot when JDS and Mir is decided.

    I can’t see how anyone can doubt him now?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    Thompson – upgrade, showed he’s got plenty left to prove.
    Melendez- downgrade, I know Even Gilbert said this fight was a lose/lose for him but that’s all the more reason to come out and make a statement supporting your rank and instead he got handed a decision win that really could have gone either way and also almost got finished by a guy whom is ranked outside the top 10 easily…stay in SF Gilbert, be the big fish for as long as u can.
    DC – upgrade, he’s on his way to bigger & better things but I think win or loose he was gonna have a bright future in the division.
    Barnett – par, didn’t loose any footing in the HW landscape, he’s still a tough fight for anybody in the weight class, he’s nobodies step stool. Like he said hurt or not he had to make DC earn it.
    Felajio

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    Thompson – upgrade, showed he’s got plenty left to prove.
    Melendez- downgrade, I know Even Gilbert said this fight was a lose/lose for him but that’s all the more reason to come out and make a statement supporting your rank and instead he got handed a decision win that really could have gone either way and also almost got finished by a guy whom is ranked outside the top 10 easily…stay in SF Gilbert, be the big fish for as long as u can.
    DC – upgrade, he’s on his way to bigger & better things but I think win or loose he was gonna have a bright future in the division.
    Barnett – par, didn’t loose any footing in the HW landscape, he’s still a tough fight for anybody in the weight class, he’s nobodies step stool. Like he said hurt or not he had to make DC earn it.
    Cavalcante- upgrade, explosive 1st round finish.
    Kyle- sitting in purgatory with the rest of roster…

    Good night of fights glad I got to watch it…. The prelims were good too.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  • Rece Rock says:

    Sorry… Damn iPhone

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Cavalcante, Barnett, DC, Melendez and Thompson would all be towards the top of their respective divisions in the UFC. They are all quality. Listen to the one fight reactionaries. IT DOESNT WORK THAT WAY. Anyway I hope they disband SF soon and we get more humble pie delivered to those that said and say SF fighters are a step below. Im trying to recall what happened in Lavar vs Barry, Hendo vs Shogun, Werdum vs Nelson, Overeem vs Lesnar and Diaz vs Penn, could somebody help me out with that. Dont bother becuz they were former SF fighters they must have lost to those far superior UFC fighters.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Rich Melendez has a far superior record to Guida!
    Guida has 12 unavenged losses and Gil has none.
    Gil has also beaten Guida along with top 10s and contenders like Aoki, Kawajiri, Masvidal, Thompson and others. Gil is up there.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    SF vs the UFC.
    Shields 2-2
    Hendo 1-0
    Werdum 1-0
    Griggs 0-1
    Overeem 1-0
    Diaz 1-1
    Miller 0-1
    Marquardt ???
    Big Foot ???
    Del Rosario ???

    Gee its as if the UFC fighters are not better. If only I had thought of that earlier.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Lavar 1-0

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Good night of fights. Melendez made that fight closer than everyone thought it would be. Barnett fighting with a broken hard for four rounds and not getting finished or quitting shows a ton of heart.

    Both Cormier and Barnett should receive a top 10 guy in the UFC for next fight. Cormier might have got himself in title picture behind winner of Valasquez/Bigfoot Silva. Hope Barnett can recover from his injury in time to fight again this year.

    Militech and Shamrock have zero chemistry and it’s just painful to listen to. Every SF event one will try to set the other up with a talking point just to be ignored and then there will be a few seconds of uncomfortable silence.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Lol comparing guida to Gil is laughable tbh guida has way more losses, never been a champ, plus he’s been finished multiple times. Plus I don’t know why everyone is saying the decision could’ve gone either way? Josh was thoroughly outstriked and was backing up and getting beat to the punch in the pocket almost every time. Those trip tds scored some points but Gil got tds and held Thomson down and at least did something with them. That and he outlanded josh by a good margin. It wasnt a surprise that Gil won.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • JabCrossHook says:

    To those that say it is a robbery just look at the stats

    http://i49.tinypic.com/2hmjvhi.jpg

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Yeah Melendez won but I was worried becuz judges are funny creatures

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I thought it was a good night of fights all in all, I came in late to the prelims so only really got to see the last two and they were good, and the main card didn’t disappoint either. If SF could put on more cards like that, more often I think they’d be sitting pretty.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • fitfreak says:

    I thought Melendez took the first three rounds. Maybe I need to see it again, but that’s how I felt during the fight. I thought it was odd the way everyone seemed to count out Thompson leading up to the fight. Maybe now people can quit call Melendez the #1 LW. He’s a great fighter, but the #1 LW should have at least won the UD.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Lavar Johnson is 2-0 in the UFC (beat Joey Beltran and Pat Barry).

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    He’s soon to be 3-0..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    I find you list amusing LOGIC. What makes a fighter and SF fighter instead of a UFC fighter?

    SF vs the UFC.

    Shields 2-2 – he never fought in the UFC before so I guess we can call him an SF fighter, sure.

    Hendo 1-0 – Hendo had 5 fights in the UFC before he left to fight only 4 time in SF. If he’s labled anything it would be PRIDE fighter like Josh was called last night, otherwise I’d say he’s a UFC fighter.

    Werdum 1-0 – he had 4 in the UFC and 4 in SF. sounds pretty even to me.

    Griggs 0-1 – sure, SF fighter

    Overeem 1-0 – considering he barely fought for SF, I would call him a PRIDE or DREAM figher, but since that’s not the criteria, OK SF fighter.

    Diaz 1-1 – Diaz had 10 fights in the UFC and only 6 in SF, that sounds more like a UFC fighter to me.

    Miller 0-1 – in 31 fights only 2 were in SF, while 1 was in the UFC. Another DREAM guy, but not the criteria so SF fighter he is.

    Marquardt ??? – never fought in SF and is definitely a UFC guy.

    Big Foot ??? SF guy

    Del Rosario ??? SF guy.

    Take out the UFC guys and the ones that are even and the SF guys have a combined record of 3-4 against the UFC. And that includes the gift decision in the Shields/Kampmann fight. So yeah, I don’t know why more people aren’t jumping on that SF>UFC bandwagon.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    for the record, I think ALL the HW’s coming over from SF are a much needed and much welcome addition to the UFC. The more we get all the top guys into one org, the better off this sport will be IMO.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I loved the fights but did anybody catch the interview Heidi Androl had with Rhonda Rousey? Heidi must not keep up with MMA much as she stated Rhonda may be defending her belt this summer against a unnamed opponent. Its a good thing she is pretty hot.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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