Strikeforce will today (May 10, 2012) hold a media conference call to promote next Saturday's (May 19, 2012) Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier" event, which will air live on the Showtime.
Barnett is a former UFC heavyweight champion and after years of exile, returned to America and has dominated the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. He used his catchwrestling to submit both of his first two opponents, Brett Rogers and Sergei Kharitonov to advance to the finals. Daniel Cormier is a former Olympic wrestler out of Oklahoma State. He was a hotshot undefeated prospect who exploded onto the scene when he stepped in as an alternate for Alistair Overeem and knocked Antonio Silva out cold in the first round of the semifinals.
Melendez is the current Strikeforce lightweight champion and one of the top ranked 155-ers on the planet. He last defended his title against Jorge Masvidal and has battled Josh Thomson twice before, splitting a pair of very entertaining decisions. Josh Thomson is the former Strikeforce lightweight champion but injuries have plagued his recent career. He returned from a long layoff to decision K.J. Noons this past March and earn his shot, even if he wasn't pleased with his performance.
We'll have complete updates of the Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier" conference call after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. ET.
2:10 p.m. we're finally getting started.
Showtime guy: Every heavyweight grand prix fight and the first two Thomson-Melendez fights will be free on Showtime
Scott Coker: The winner of the Heavyweight Grand Prix is still going to fight one more time in Strikeforce afterwards.
Josh Thomson: Promoters make the best fight that they can. Whoever they felt they could get at the time, I don't let things like that distract me. I thought they were going to give the shot to Healy but they came to me and asked me and what else can you do, you can't turn down a title fight.
Josh Thomson: I went back to what I was doing before, but I got rid of a workout in the middle of the day to keep from overtraining. I'm becoming a student of the sport again, keeping the stand-up nice and tight and getting back to straight punches without brawling. My grappling has taken a backseat with all the injuries so I spent some time with that and have been focusing from there.
Josh Thomson: I think with every fight you have to work your way back. The first time we fought, he was going to get a rematch but I got injured. He got the interim title and it worked out. It was better for the promotion with both of being champion. That's the fight game and the way it goes. I was out for a whole year last year and that was the biggest problem. Everything else has been good since then.
Josh Barnett: My plans are to keep fighting in Strikeforce if I win that one. Thinking too far ahead gives me a headache. My manager can think about that stuff all he wants to ad nauseum. Me? I do not care. I've got to beat Daniel Cormier and more power to him.
Daniel Cormier: Josh hit it on the head. Everything will play itself out. Scott and the guys at Zuffa have done a great job. My job is to win this fight and then whatever happens, happens.
Scott Coker: Coming back to Las Vegas, the door is open but we don't have current plans. In the meantime, everyone can get their fill with the UFC who's putting on fantastic cards and matchups there.
Scott Coker: We have a nice belt for the winner of the Heavyweight Grand Prix. I look forward to wrapping that belt around one of the guys here.
Josh Barnett: I've been fighting for 15 years now. Daniel's got nine fights and I've been honing my craft for 50. Daniel's an Olympic athlete so I would still lean that he would do better in wrestling.
Josh Barnett: I didn't wear myself out while he was hurt. I just stayed in shape and put time in the mat. I trained at the Air Force Academy with some great wrestling partners. I have nothing to complain about. Everything has been done, it's just up to me getting in the ring as well.
Josh Thomson: I got criticized for saying I thought my performance was crap.
Gilbert Melendez: Josh is a tough guy and it's good to have bragging rights in the bay. I try to stay off twitter and that stuff. Josh is a tough opponent and it's cool.
Gilbert Melendez: Initially, you want to fight someone that will raise your stock. Josh is a tough opponent, another tough opponent I have to fight who isn't on the radar because of the UFC. For business moves, you want to fight guys that have bigger names and there's a lot of guys who have bigger names than us because we're not UFC. I go to work and I do my best.
Gilbert Melendez: I'm more anxious to show my skills and what I've been working on.
Gilbert Melendez: Words can't describe it. I was a little touched. It says a lot about my boy Nate Diaz. The biggest day of his life and he gives me the biggest shoutout I've ever had. I think he's gonna win that title. He gave me a lot of love and he gives thanks to everybody. That's just the kind of guy he always is.
Gilbert Melendez: Obviously, to be the number one guy in the world, you've got to be the UFC champ. Right now I'm just trying to get better in the sport, take some risks and just try to become a really good martial artist and deliver. I'm trying to do my thing and perform and find my motivation with my paycheck, my team and my family.
Scott Coker: Strikeforce will be going back to Portland, Oregon and the main event will be Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Kennedy. Robbie Lawler will face Lorenz Larkin in a middleweight bout too.