Javier Mendez had his "fingers crossed" that Josh Barnett wouldn't make the Grand Prix FinalPosted on September 15, 2011, 02:03 PM by Joey Santosus
"I was crossing my fingers [Barnett] wouldn't win. He’s so damn dangerous. There’s really not much weakness [with] him. We’re going to have to really, really do our homework with this one… If you want to be realistic, after watching all the fighters, the number one guy that’s really the best out of the group, the first original eight, is the guy in the finals now. That’s Josh. If you’re going on how they approached their fights and [how] they looked in their fights, you have to give it to Josh. [Daniel Cormier's broken hand] could play an impact for us because who knows when the bones heal, what kind of time’s going to be required. I don’t know. It could be bad for us or it could be OK. It all depends on the healing process. He got what he needed from that fight. I think for him, he’s not focusing on Barnett right now. He’s going to be focused on healing himself and getting ready to go. He’s been through this before. Come fight time, he’ll be ready to go." - For more from Javier Mendez, visit Sherdog.com
Josh Barnett was not AKA trainer Javier Mendez's first choice of opponents for Daniel Cormier. In fact, he wasn't even on the list. According to Mendez, "The Warmaster" has proven himself to be the best of all eight competitors to enter the Heavyweight Grand Prix, which at one time included such names as Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, and Fabricio Werdum.
When Overeem was forced out of the tournament, however, it was Cormier who was called upon to step in against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. Making good on the opportunity, the former Olympian landed a well-placed uppercut in the opening round to send the 6-foot-4 Brazilian crashing to the canvas. The victory not only improved Cormier's unblemished record to 9-0, but it also earned him an unlikely spot in the finals opposite Barnett. Though Barnett has made quick work of his previous two opponents, neither possessed the grappling chops to defend against his relentless top game. So what do you think LowKick'ers? Will Cormier's world-class wrestling be enough to make him a formibable opponent for Barnett or is "The Warmaster" simply in a league of his own?
Further Reading: Daniel Cormier: Bigfoot never recovered from the first knockdown