The Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix has reached its conclusion and the result is one that none of the odds makers could have predicted. When the smoke cleared after a year of mixed martial arts action, it was an alternate, Daniel Cormier (10-0), who emerged the ultimate victor after dominating one of the sport’s most respected veterans in “Warmaster” Josh Barnett (31-6) for five full rounds. “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (21-2) retained his belt in a razor thin Split Decision in his rubber match against “The Punk” Josh Thomson (19-5). The pair of three-round affairs that opened the night’s action, however, took far less time to determine the outcome. “Feijao” Rafael Cavalcante (12-3) got revenge for his 2009 loss to “Mak” Mike Kyle (19-9) in just 33 seconds and “The Kiss” Chris Spang (5-1) added a third knockout to his resume in just over three minutes at the expense of “The Rock-N-Rolla” Nah-Shon Burrell (8-2). It was one of those rare nights where not a single bout disappoints.
After much to do about fallen emperors and Ubereems, buy-outs, drops outs, upsets, and late replacements, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix has finally reached its conclusion, provided neither “The Warmaster” Josh Barnett (31-5) nor “DC” Daniel Cormier (9-0) has anything unexpected hinder their ability to compete in the match-up. In addition to the tournament finals, Strikeforce has booked a trio of bouts worthy of supporting the organization’s greatest endeavor to date. “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (20-2) will put his lightweight strap on the line against “The Punk” Josh Thomson (19-4) in the pair’s long-awaited rubber match. “Feijao” Rafael Cavalcante (11-3) will continue to recover from the loss of his title as he looks for a second straight win, and revenge, against “Mak” Mike Kyle (19-8-1). Opening the card, Challengers Series import “The Kiss” Christopher Spang (4-1) will seek redemption for his Strikeforce debut loss as he steps in the cage across from “The Rock-N-Rolla” Nah-Shon Burrell (8-1). It’s a strong card and it has been a long time in the making, and for fans it has a lot of live up to.