After long months of speculations, polls and opinion articles – the final of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix is finally set. Josh Barnett will meet Daniel Cormier, after booking his place with a convincing performance against the fellow PRIDE veteran Sergei Kharitonov.
The Russian Mercenary (that’s according to Mauro Ranallo) was better on his feet, managing to hurt Josh Barnett with various striking combinations. But the turning point was when Josh Barnett got his takedown, immediately finding himself in a full mount position. Kharitonov lacked the skills to overcome Barnett’s elite grappling, as The Warmaster rained down heavy ground and pound strikes.
Still, Kharitonov displayed a huge warrior spirit, as it looked like Josh Barnett is going to miss his opportunity to finish the fight. But Barnett had plans of his own; he locked in a heavy side choke, the same side choke he used on Brett Rogers, as Sergei Kharitonov had no choice but to tap out for the second time in his MMA career.
Josh Barnett is 2-0 since his USA debut, with victories over Brett Rogers and now Sergei Kharitonov. Catch-Wrestling Hero is now 31-5 in his MMA career, with sights on winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP, and probably getting himself back into the Ultimate Fighting Championship Octagon.
Barnett vs. Cormier is going to be a great fight.