Remember the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix? Boy that was a grand idea, wasn't it?
Not only did the tournament see undesired results mixed with a bit of controversy, it's been on hold for months due to a hand injury suffered by one of its finalists, Daniel Cormier.
While he's been healing, the entire heavyweight division dissolved into the UFC so the San Jose based promotion could focus on the lighter weight classes. Or at least that's what they said.
The reality is that the weight class seriously lacks depth, even at the highest level.
Nonetheless, the two men who advanced to the finals, the previously mentioned Cormier and Josh Barnett, will do battle inside the Hexagon to crown a tournament champion. And, as announced during last night's (Sat., March 3, 2012) "Tate vs. Rousey" event broadcast, the bout will take place on May 19, 2012, at a location to be determined.
Barnett's road to the finals wasn't exactly easy but it certainly wasn't as difficult as it could have been. He opened the tournament by submitting Brett Rogers with little trouble and followed that up by doing the same to Sergei Kharitonov, both by arm triangle choke.
As for Cormier, he was an injury replacement for Alistair Overeem and needed only one victory to reach the finals. He earned it, too, blasting "Bigfoot," Antonio Silva, and knocking him out in the first round.
He broke his hand in the process, which is what led to all this waiting around as noted. Speaking at last night's show, "DC" says he's eager to get back at it:
"My hand is finally healed. I'm back, and I'm ready to fight. Replacement or not, I was given an opportunity, and I took it. Now I'm in the biggest fight of my career, and I can't wait."
There's no word on what the winner of this fight will receive but it seems obvious a UFC contract is up for grabs, if nothing else. Better incentive than a meaningless title, no?
Mark it down on your calendars, Maniacs, May 19, 2012, will see the thrilling conclusion of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix. Who takes it -- Barnett or Cormier?