Heavyweight Grand Prix Winner Will Remain in Strikeforce for a Swan Song

May 13, 2012
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Josh Barnett vs Daniel CormierWhen the new deal between Strikeforce and Showtime was brokered and announced, one of the biggest revelations was that the once thriving heavyweight division in the promotion would soon shift over to the UFC.

Just a year earlier, Strikeforce had assembled one of the greatest collections of heavyweight talent in the sport to create their first ever Grand Prix tournament.

Now all that remains of the Strikeforce heavyweight roster are the two remaining fighters in that tournament, Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier.

One oddity that was announced with that new deal, however, is that once Barnett or Cormier is crowned the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion, he would remain in the promotion for at least one more fight against an as of yet unknown opponent.

With the rest of the Strikeforce heavyweight roster already competing and thriving in the UFC, the question had to be asked if somehow those previously announced plans could be amended and the winner of the tournament move into action in the Octagon?

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker on Thursday confirmed that either Barnett or Cormier would indeed remain in the promotion for at least one more fight as previously planned.

“Yes, that is correct,” Coker answered when questioned about the heavyweight division plans in Strikeforce.

With that plan in place, it appears that the winner of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix will stick around for at least one more fight. Based on the timing of that fight, it could keep them out of a potential UFC debut until 2013.

No decision has been made as of yet who will face either Barnett or Cormier in Strikeforce, but there are discussions being had. There’s just no one fighter in mind to bring in for the last heavyweight super fight in the promotion’s history.

“Just some preliminary conversations, but as you can imagine it just depends on who wins and if there’s any injuries, things like that. Then any injuries to any other fighters that we might be looking to come fight the winner,” Coker revealed.

“That’s something we can probably have a better picture of once this fight is over, see the outcome, and see if there’s any injuries.”

It’s unclear at this time if the fighter not victorious at next weekend’s Stikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix will be held up any longer, but most likely, he could shift over to the UFC as soon as health permits.

Now it’s just a matter of finally concluding the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, and then finding a suitable opponent to face the winner later this year.

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  • WHY?! WHYYYY?!!!

  • D-rail

    Catch 22. I wonder if Cormier is willing to accept a blemish (Take one for the fans) on his record just to jump ship. I personally would like to see both fighters in the UFC’s current heavyweight division mixing it up. Strikefarse is at it again with their silly demands, wanting to fight the winner of their grand prix “at least one more fight”…..SHOWTIME SUCKS COKER!!

    • harrowingbob

      Even if Cormier(or Barnett) wins, then I in no doubt believe that he’ll be out for another 8 months of inactivity till they FINALLY can find an opponent for him, and then another 5 months till the actual event and fight date is set.

      Strikeforce/Showtime are pissing me off.

  • what possible HW would even make sense for the GP winner to face? you would think it would have to be someone big or else it doesnt make any sense…doesnt it devalue the “prestige” of winning the tourny just to fight some scrub after the fact? Serg never made the transition to the UFC but he was alreasy subbed rather easily by Barnett so it wouldnt make much sense to have him fight the winner…not even sure hes still under contract…what HWs are left that havent gone to the UFC??? Fedor isnt under contract by Zuffa but he does have a deal w/ showtime and m-1…i wonder if somehow he could be factored in…many people were super bummed out when he lost his fight vs. bigfoot and got knocked out early…but a fight vs. barnett is years and years in the making and a fight vs. cormier would be solid as well…this seems like the only option that would make any sense and that would still be a pretty big fight…only thing is, would it ever happen? assuming cormier and barnett will come to the UFC, would zuffa risk having one of them lose to fedor, especially if theres no chance of fedor himself coming to the UFC?

  • smill0313

    There is not one hw left in strikeforce that has earned a shot at the winner. Fedor? Giving him a title shot after already being knocked out of the tournament would just make the whole grand prix worthless. Taking 2 damn years to complete it has already made it so I barely care. Hope Comier takes it though, have had enough of juicers lately.

    • giving fedor a title shot? what title are you referring to? there is no title…whoever wins the strikforce GP is the GP champion even if they lose their next fight or every fight after the tourn for the rest of their career…either barnet or cormier will be crowned GP champion and nobody else can take that from them…

      • smill0313

        All the more reason that one more fight after is nonsense. Also, the point I was making is that the grand prix winner would obviously be the #1 hw in strikeforce, so who is left that would be a legitimate opponent?

        • there isnt any but if they demand the GP winner fight once more in SF, a decent option would have to be Fedor i think…who else could it be? i cant think of any fighter with a big enough reputation that would still be considered a big fight and a big test for the GP winner that isnt signed to the UFC other then Fedor…

  • Mario

    What would happen if Barnett or Cormier lose to this unknown opponent?

    What then?

    • exactly…wth? its an odd move across the board..in a perfect world, both guys come over to the UFC regardless of the outcome w/ the GP winner either getting a title shot or #1 contender shot

  • D-rail

    The whole thing is stupid. It doesn’t make sense to keep any of them there, especially if there’s no legitament future opponent. Just put an end to the Showtime madness and close the SF shop. Let the bloated bald man in the black suit put on some killer heavyweight main events w/out juicers…….so i guess that means no Barnett.

  • ko-king

    Alister Overeem makes the most sense. His 9 month suspention would be up around that time and the UFC never released him. But they may want him over at Stikeforce for 1 fight before bringing him back for a title shot.

  • They should both agree to go out, punch each other once, and immediately fall unconscious. No one can be a winner here.