Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier" goes down tonight (Sat., May 19, 2012) from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, and features the conclusion of the ambitious heavyweight grand prix tournament.
Josh Barnett got to the big show by running through his side of the bracket via consecutive arm triangle submission victories over Brett Rogers and Sergei Kharitonov, respectively.
Daniel Cormier, meanwhile, needed just one win to get to the finals thanks to his replacing Alistair Overeem after he was dumped from Strikeforce in favor of the UFC. "DC" knocked out Antonio Silva in the first round of the semifinals but broke his hand in the process, leading to the long wait for tonight's final showdown.
So who wins this titanic clash of big men?
Our resident Nostradumbass sees the match-up going the distance and Barnett riding his experience to a split decision victory. But what about the pros? Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) got predictions from a few of the heavyweights competing on the UFC 146 card on May 26 in Las Vegas.
Let's see who Junior dos Santos, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva think will win tonight's showdown.
Junior dos Santos, reigning UFC heavyweight champion, said: "They are both great fighters and this is a fight that could end very quickly for each guy. But Cormier is more explosive and has the better chances to end this early. It could be very exciting, but I think Cormier wins."
Frank Mir, two-time UFC heavyweight champion, said: "I think Cormier takes this. I can't see Barnett getting him to the ground, his wrestling is too strong. And on the feet I think Cormier has the power to end things. But with two top heavyweights, anything can happen. That's why this division is so exciting - anyone who is world class can beat anyone else with one punch. You can't say that about the lighter weight classes and that's why heavyweight fights are so cool to watch."
Cain Velasquez, former UFC heavyweight champion said: "I pick Daniel Cormier. Number one, because I train with him but also because he's so hungry in this sport, I don't think he will be denied. He was really raw when he came into our gym the first time a couple of years ago but he picked up everything a lot faster than most. He has dangerous strikes and I can't see Josh getting him to the ground. Daniel's wrestling is too good; I think he takes this fight and makes a statement about his future in the division."
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, who reached the Grand Prix semi-final stage before losing to Cormier, also picked his old rival for the win, saying: "I think Cormier will win this fight and be the Grand Prix Champion. I was very surprised by him in our fight. I think he is too strong, too powerful in this fight. He punches very hard and his wrestling is very good. I think he will win inside the distance unless Josh Barnett gets this to the ground quickly."
That's four picks for Cormier, none for Barnett. You Maniacs agree with the UFC heavyweights?