Strikeforce Barnett vs. Cormier Results: Daniel Cormier Stands as Champion

May 20, 2012
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Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett Strikeforce
When the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix kicked off in 2011 there were eight names in the tournament, but Daniel Cormier wasn’t one of them.

Through a series of twists, turns, injuries and changes Cormier ended up not only entering the tournament, but on Saturday night he conquered it by winning the Grand Prix with a unanimous decision win over Josh Barnett.

A former Olympian, Cormier’s athletic prowess gave him a lot of natural gifts on day one in the sport of MMA, but just like his history in wrestling, nothing is guaranteed in fighting and you have to battle for every win.

Well he came to battle on Saturday as he took on a former UFC heavyweight champion, and what happened next was nothing short of spectacular.

From the opening bell, Cormier showed off his improved striking as he battered Barnett with powerful punches and fed him a steady diet of uppercuts as he let everyone know right away that he was in this to win it.

“I owe that to my teammates – Cain Velasquez, Luke Rockhold, Mike Kyle, those guys kick my ass everyday and that means I can go with anyone else in the world,” Cormier said about his striking game.

Not only did Cormier look great on the feet, but he was also able to showcase his wrestling background as the took Barnett down time and time again.

In the 2nd round, Cormier got Barnett to the mat and absolutely punished Barnett with short strikes as he opened up some cuts on the former UFC champion’s head, and caused him to wear a crimson mask for much of the rest of the fight.

It was much of the same for the rest of the fight as Cormier picked Barnett apart on the feet, while mixing in a few big takedowns as well including a big slam in the third round. It was a masterful performance from the former Oklahoma State wrestler who was just overwhelming in every fashion of the word as he beat Barnett in a shutout, except on one judge’s scorecard who gave a lone 5-minute round to the former UFC and Pride fighter.

Following the win, an emotional Daniel Cormier could barely hold back the tears as he paid tribute to all those he lost prior to Saturday’s fight, and how much it meant to be able to defeat Josh Barnett to win the Grand Prix title.

“It means everything for me to beat someone like Josh Barnett. I’ve lost a lot of people in my life, this is for all of them,” said Cormier.
Daniel Cormier Strikeforce
Like the famous line in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, ‘The ones that love us, never really leave us’, Cormier had all the support he needed both in person and in spirit carrying him to the Strikeforce title.

Now a champion, Cormier has all the reason to celebrate and talk about what’s next for his career, but as respectful as he is smart, the former Olympian just wanted to focus on the task he just completed before contemplating the future just yet.

“That’s not my job. I’ll let that play out how it is,” said Cormier. “I just want to focus on the fact that I just beat Josh Barnett, and this is something a year ago I never thought I could do.”

As for Josh Barnett, the catch wrestler didn’t have his best night, but that was more due to the excellence of Daniel Cormier than anything he did wrong. Barnett did admit that he suffered a broken hand early in the fight, but again that came at the expense of Cormier’s hard head.

“I broke the ever loving crap out of my hand in the first round on Daniel’s head,” Barnett revealed.

Throughout the months leading up to their fight, Barnett and Cormier had done several press tours and events together, and couldn’t have been friendlier leading into their battle on Saturday night. It was with the same respect Barnett paid the man who just defeated him, giving him credit on a job well done.

“He’s a great athlete and I always knew he was going to be a hell of an opponent, and so if I get there and throw down and draw blood with anyone and call them my brother, I’m glad it’s Daniel,” Barnett stated.

Due to a prior agreement, Daniel Cormier will stay in Strikeforce for at least one more bout, most likely against a fighter that will transfer over from the ranks of the UFC.

As amazing as his night was, the real next test for Cormier should be a shot at the UFC heavyweight title, but alas he will toil away in Strikeforce for at least one more fight while his rightful place may very well be challenging the winner of UFC 146’s main event between Junior Dos Santos and Frank Mir.

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  • Great outing for Cormier. His striking was clean, head work was great and his ability to ragdoll Barnett at will was very impressive. Impressed by those head kicks he was throwing as well.

    Wonder who Strikeforce will have him face next in the “+1” fight. A visitor from the UFC perhaps?

    Hope his orbital is ok. Looked like that knee toward the end of the first landed cleanly and caused a lot of pain. A broken orbital could cause him to be out for a while.

  • Mario

    Cormier was fantastic tonight. I thought Josh would run through him, but boy was I wrong!

    The guy is a menace at Heavyweight, imagine what he’d do at 205!

    He’s a wonderful man as well. Congrats!

  • I agree with Bus.. Very impressed and I dont think anyone will want to fight a short stockey athletic power puncher…I was watching MMA uncensored and they were calling hime the Black Fedor… I would love too see them fight

  • D-rail

    Sucks big that he has to stay at SF, but he’s so fun to watch. He’ll make a great champ someday, wish him the best, all class.

  • Hopefully both Barnett and Cormier will now come to the UFC because they both deserve to be there. Strikeforce has to be lying about bringing in another mystery heavyweight to fight Cormier because it would be a pretty irrelevant fight and there’s no one of importance out there for Strikeforce to bring in.

  • mikemma123

    What a great fight! The underdog Daniel Cormier beat down the veteran josh Barnett. You already know he’s coming to the UFC soon.

    • At fight time Cormier was actually a slight favorite.

  • AdamBianski

    Watching replay right now what a beast. May sound stupid but I think Big Country shoud come to SF to fight Cormier.

    • MaritalArtist

      Actually, that’s not a bad idea!

  • Booker T

    Yeah, that would be a good fight with Big Country. Cormier kind of reminds me of Mike Tyson. Short and stocky and has bricks in his hands. Speaking of Tyson, I would like to see him and Herscel Walker in the cage.

  • BlackDog2009

    I didn’t think Cormier would beat Barnett and I was wrong! Cormier looked great, very controlled, crisp, calculating and even escaped a very tight submission that Barnett went for. It was an amazing, amazing fight and a successful ending to this tournament. In my opinion Cormier should be next between the winner of JDS vs Mir. And if they want one more Strikeforce fight for Showtime’s sake it should be that title fight… why not?

  • spidersilva

    Id like to see cormier beat a top tier ufc heavyweight before he gets a title shot. cain, carwin, big nog, roy would be ok but all the big boys beat him. A win over barnett shouldnt get u a ufc title shot. Send in a big time ufc fighter for that last strikeforce fight and if he wins give him jds…cuz mir aint winning ish

    • BlackDog2009

      It’s not just a win over Barnett, he’s the winner of Strikeforce’s HW tournament, where many top hw talents didn’t maker it…Fedor, Arlowsky, Kharitonov, BigFoot Silva, Brett Rogers, Werdum, and Overeem (he left, but to me that’s the same as not making the cut). And then yes, he beat BArnett, who made very short work of Kharitonov and Rogers. Cormier then came as a replacement and easily put away BigFoot. So please don’t downplay it, it’s not as you put it simply… “a win over Barnett” . The tournament has a rich history of blood and sweat and Cormier was the last man standing!

  • spidersilva

    Did i list any of those fighters in the top tier of heavyweights? Why dont we just give the bellator champ a shot at the ufc? Look at the list of wins it takes to get a shot at the ufc title. Cormier doesnt have anything near the resume to just give him the winner of jds/mir. Watch wat cain does to bigfoot and then tell me how big a win that is. Cormier is in the conversation now, still has to earn a shot with a big win.

    • Lesnardo

      I agree that Cormier shouldn’t get a title shot in the UFC. The HW division is so stacked right now that Cormier has to win against Mir and then Cain/Overeem/Carwin.

      But Barnett and Cormier both belong in the UFC. I don’t think they will be champions just because the HW division in the UFC is so stacked right now. Heck, just fire every UFC HW tomato cans and sign Sergei, Barnett, and Cormier!!!!

  • AdamBianski

    He obviously needs to be in UFC. Let him start at the bottom and work his way up. He should not get title shot yet and I stress “yet” let him destroy a gatekeeper like “Big Country” then move up the ladder.