Josh Barnett made fellow Pride FC veteran Sergei Kharitonov look like he didn’t belong in the same cage with him last night, securing an arm-triangle choke submission in the first round following a slick trip and perfect top control. Barnett advances to the finals of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament, just one win away from proving Dana White’s predictions to be on the nose.
That is, of course, unless tourney alternate Daniel Cormier continues to play spoiler, as he did with a shockingly quick and sure-footed TKO finish of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. With this win, Cormier leaps from prospect zone to the mid-to-upper level of heavyweights, fleshing out the division. Though the GP is hurt by the absence of Alistair Overeem and the early shocking loss of Fedor Emelianenko, it has allowed the heavyweight picture to diversify, and fans should now be excited at the thought of Barnett, Cormier, Silva and Fabricio Werdum eventually following Overeem to the UFC to face the rest of the Zuffa behemoths.
The middleweight title changed hands as Luke Rockhold earned a hard-fought unanimous decision in an awesome five-round battle with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Canadian Jordan Mein made his promotional debut with an impressive TKO of dynamic striker Evangelista Santos, finishing the “Cyborg” with some mean elbows. Keep your eyes on Mein.
Congrats to Kru Joey’s CSW coach, Sensei Erik Paulson, and Paulson’s fighter, Barnett, on yet another victory. Full results and gif of Cormier’s KO win below.
Dominique Steele def. Chris Mierzwiak via unanimous decision
Alexis Davis def. Amanda Nunes via TKO (strikes), round 2
Jordan Mein def. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos via TKO (elbows), round 3
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante def. Yoel Romero via KO (Punch), round 2
Mike Kyle def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima via unanimous decision
Patrick Healy def. Maximo Blanco via submission (RNC), round 2
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal def. Roger Gracie via KO (punch), round 1
Luke Rockhold def. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza via unanimous decision (Rockhold wins Strikeforce middleweight championship)
Daniel Cormier def. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva via KO (punches), round 1 (Cormier advances to finals of HW GP tournament)
Josh Barnett def. Sergei Kharitonov via submission (arm-triangle choke), round 1 (Barnett advanced to finals of HW GP tournament)