The Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix tournament is finally over.
It started back on Feb. 12, 2011, when Antonio Silva shocked the world by beating Fedor Emelianenko into a pulp to force a stoppage in the quarterfinals. Earlier in the evening, Sergei Kharitonov knocked out Andrei Arlovski in the first round to advance on the other side of the bracket.
Then on June 18, 2011, Alistair Overeem won a bizarre fight against Fabricio Werdum while Josh Barnett ran through Brett Rogers to set up the semifinals. Sadly, "The Reem" was cut from Strikeforce not long after this and headed for the UFC in the winter.
All was well, because his replacement, Daniel Cormier, would go on to become the tournament champion.
He knocked out "Bigfoot" Silva in the first round of their semifinal contest on Sept. 10, 2011, while Barnett submitted his second straight opponent to lead to their showdown that went down earlier tonight (Sat., May 19, 2012) at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
Cormier dominated the fight, showing off his wide range of skills and silencing any and all remaining doubters. Despite his age and relative lack of experience, this man is a beast who can seriously go once the cage door closes. The future holds one last fight under the Strikeforce banner before a move to the Octagon and the greener pastures of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Allow me to channel Bart Scott while also speaking for everyone when I say -- can't wait.
For a detailed breakdown of Cormier's unanimous decision win over Barnett click here and for complete Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier" results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.