In case you missed the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix final that crowned a new champion, along with the exciting lightweight title fight, here are highlights to get you up to date on Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier and Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson.
Check out a recap after the jump.
Here's a recap from our play-by-play of the event:
Round 1: Barnett started out throwing jabs and slipped on a kick briefly. Barnett landed a left and looked to clinch but got sluffed off by Cormier. Cormier came forward and landed two right hooks. Both men landed big rights. Cormier landed a glancing head kick and a knee to the face. Cormier landed two more punches and a body shot. Barnett with a knee to the body. Barnett got inside and landed two punches while evading Cormier's rights. Barnett with a standing elbow. Barnett charged forward and landed a low kick. Barnett looked to clinch but Cormier pushed him off. Cormier landed four punches in a row. Cormier with a solid leg kick. Barnett with a knee to the body in the clinch. Cormier with another nice two-punch combo.Barnett caught a kick and landed a right hook. He followed it up with a knee that seemed to stun Cormier slightly. Cormier tied him up against the fence. 10-9 Cormier.
Round 2: Barnier started fast with two punches and a kick, but Cormier responded with two right hooks and a combination. Barnett with a kick to the body. Barnett's counters looked crisper than in the first. Barnett landed another standing knee that backed up Cormier. Barnett with a hard kick. Cormier landed a right uppercut in the clinch, then a straight right to the body. Cormier ducked under a punch and took Barnett down halfway through the round. Cormier landed an occasional right hand in Barnett's guard, but Barnett controlled him well. Cormier landed a short elbow that hurt Barnett a bit and cut him. Barnett rolled up for a leglock then an armbar, but Cormier got out. Barnett was bleeding pretty badly. Cormier rode out the rest of the round on top. 10-9 Cormier.
Round 3: Barnett came forward right away with a knee to the body. Cormier landed a right but Barnett landed a solid counter. Barnett looked for a takedown against the cage but couldn't get it. Cormier with a left hook, Barnett responded with an uppercut. Cormier went to the body again. Barnett threw a front kick and a straight right. Wow, Cormier scooped up a single leg and flipped Barnett completely upside down with a slam. Cormier worked in side control. Barnett spun out and got back to his feet. Cormier with another single right hook that got through. The pace slowed for a minute or so. Barnett landed a knee up the middle. Cormier landed a head kick that stunned Barnett and poured it on with knees against the cage. Barnett responded with a solid right hook though. Cormier with the go behind but couldn't get it to the floor. He held Josh against the cage for the rest of the round. 10-9 Cormier again.
Round 4: Barnett started well with a leg kick and a right. Barnett landed a knee to the head when Cormier was leaning over a little bit. Cormier landed his left hook while Barrnett landed a leg kick. Cormier with an uppercut. Cormier went back to the head kick but it was blocked. A right head kick landed, but not solidly. Barnett rushed Cormier against the cage and landed a knee to the body. Barnett missed with a spinning backfist. Cormier took Barnett down again. Barnett looked for a kneebar and got a hold of a leg. Cormier spun out of a heel hook and worked in Barnett's closed guard.Cormier didn't do a whole lot and referee Josh Rosenthal stood the fighters up. Barnett stalked Cormier and landed another knee to the face. Barnett grinded away against the cage to end the round. This one was a lot closer. I'll go 10-9 Barnett by a hair.
Round 5: The fighters shook hands to start the final stanza. Barnett threw a head kick and front kick. Cormier told the ref that there was water on the mat, and there was a brief pause to clean it up. Barnett clinched against the cage and landed a couple of weakish knees to the belly. He landed one to the chin when they separated. Barnett with a left hook. Barnett blocked a Cormier head kick. Cormier circled away from Barnett's attacks and wasn't engaging much. Cormier finally landed a two-punch combo. Barnett missed with a spinning backfist and got taken down. Cormier scooped him up for a slam but Barnett squirmed away and stayed on his feet. Cormier just grinded away against the cage, not really throwing anything, until Barnett landed a glancing elbow. Cormer continued to hold him until the 10 second warning, then circled away for the rest of the fight. 10-9 Cormier, though it was closer than the first three rounds. I've got it 49-46 Cormier.