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Strikeforce Grand Prix: Barnett vs Kharitonov Results and Commentary

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This evening is the forgotten Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals. The stacked offering from Strikeforce features the two tournament fights as well as a middleweight title defense. As with every major event, Bloody Elbow is your home for results and commentary. Our live blogging kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET for the undercard airing on HDNet. After the preliminary fights, switch your televisions over to Showtime at 10:30 p.m. ET for the Main Card.

The heavyweight tournament took a hit when Alistair Overeem was pulled. The tournament bouts featured the top heavyweights under the Strikeforce banner with the winner going home with a belt and an argument for being the best heavyweight in the world. 


Maximo Blanco vs Pat Healy

Round 1: Healy works some nice punches to establish range but Blanco uses the leg kick to sweep the legs out and put Pat Healy on his back. Maxi is doing a good job keeping his position. Healy pushes off and gets back to his feet. Healy landing a straight right but misses the right hook. Maxi with a head kick and then works the dirty boxing and then a knee which drops Pat Healy. Blanco working elbows from the guard as Healy works a high guard to secure an omoplate and foot. Blanco kicks Healy in the face and the ref stops the fight for the doctors. Healy is cut and and the doctors are checking his eyes and nose. Healy looks to have his faculties. The referee takes a point. Fight continues and Blanco is just going buck wild with punches. Healy secures the takedown and is working Maxi over with hammer fists. It's a 9-9 round in my books. 

Round 2: Spinning fish by Blanco. Healy lands some jabs which are landing. Blanco is throwing a lot of combinations at awkward angles and Healy really can't figure out where they're coming from. Pat Healy gets his back and throws him tot he ground. He works for a choke but Blanco survives. The mat is slippery as hell tonight, Healy slips and Blanco swarms. Healy gets back to his feet and bull rushes to push Blanco to the fence and then drags him to the ground. Blanco is turtles and and is getting peppered. Blanco again to his feet and Healy tosses him again. He has the back and submits Maxi Blanco with a rear naked choke! WOAH!

Official Result: Pat Healy by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)


Roger Gracie vs Muhammed Lawal

Round 1: King Mo chants as the fight starts. Not much action with Mo pressing forward but he hasn't found his range. Gracie tries to close the gap and Mo punches him in the face as comes in. Mo lands a left hook which backs Roger up. Mo keeping his left hand low. Knee by Gracie and a push kick. Another knee by Gracie. Lawal coming foward but he can't find his range. Tentative first round for both. KING MO WITH AN OVER HAND RIGHT WHICH PUT ROGER DOWN AND THEN TWO PUNCHES ON THE GROUND FOR GOOD MEASURE. WOOOOOOOOOOOOWWW!!! Roger Gracie is still down on the ground as Mo walks around with his crown. 

Official Result: Mo Lawal by Knock Out


Ronaldo Souza vs Luke Rockhold

Round 1: Rockhold comes forward early and lands a knee as Jacare shoots in. He backs away and then runs across as Jacare follows with a knee of his own. Souza gets the fight to the ground and Jacare is just driving forward to get Luke on his back. Nice punches by Jacare. Rockhold back to his feet but quickly brought back down. Jacare still unsuccessful with putting Luke on his back. Rockhold back to his feet again but he's pressed against the fence. Souza with a knee to the head. Rockhold gets distance and lands a nice leg kick. Kicks to the body by Rockhold. Jacare coming forward with punches that land. Punch-kick combo by Rockhold. Switch kick by Rockhold. Jacare gets the takedown but can't keep it there. 10-9 Rockhold in the first. 

Round 2: Kicks early by Rockhold. Looks like they are taking Jacare off his game. Constantly damaging the right arm of Jacare with those high kicks. Jacare stuns Rockhold with a punch the button. Jacare swarms and lands a combination but nothing significant. Big elbow by Jacare. Luke Rockhold with that kick to the arm. Another kick by Rockhold. Jacare has found a home for his right hand. He presses Luke against the cage but Luke circles off and is working a body lock and knees to the thigh. Jacare spins off and he's working inside punches. Rockhold slips out and he's found that kick. Reminds me of Cung Le. Luke Rockhold with another great round ending it as the aggressor. 10-9 Rockhold. 20-18 through 2. 

Round 3: Rockhold again the aggressor as the round opens up. He's found that jab as well. Jacare responds with kicks. Rockhold has his own. Jacare is pissed thinking those kicks are landing low. It landed low but Jacare moved right into it. Jacare recovered and immediately gets the fight to the ground. Working some nice punches but Rockhold gets back to his feet. Front kick by Rockhold. Jacare blocks another high kick but those are still damaging his arms. Jacare looks tentative with 90 left in the round. Rockhold is relentless in his attacks. Rockhold with a backfist. He's just being incredibly creative with his striking. Jacare can't figure him out. 10-9 Rockhold. 30-27 through 3. 

Round 4: Flurry by both fighters opening the round. Rockhold again landing his combinations. Jacare tags him with a right to the chin. Rockhold closes the distance against the cage and leaning in. Rockhold looks for a takedown but can't get it. Jacare comes forward with punches. Jacare shoots a takedown and Rockhold keeps a wide base and just leans on his back. The trade knees on the way up. Rockhold attempts a spinning kick which Jacare catches. He looks for a takedown but Rockhold defends with a wizzar. Clinched against the cage and Rockhold is throwing knees. 10-9 Rockhold. 40-36 through 4. 

Round 5: Kicks to open the round by Rockhold. Punches by Jacare. Kick-punch by Rockhold. And another. Jacare with a jump kick. Bodyshot by Rockhold. Right hand by Jacare lands and underhooks against the cage. Jacare can't get the fight to the ground. Jacare finally gets the takedown and is in Rockhold's half guard. Rockhold pushes him off and just stands up. 90 seconds left and Rockhold is just firing off combinations. Front kick by Jacare. Jacare shrugs off the thai clinch. 60 remaining and the crowd is booing? 360 kick by Rockhold. Jacare with a right hand. 1-2 by Rockhold. The round ends and these two are just trading punches. Phenomenal fight. 10-9 Jacare? 49-46 for the New Champion Luke Rockhold. 

Official Result: Luke Rockhold by Unanious Decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47)


Daniel Cormier vs Antonio Silva

Round 1: Leg kick by Cormier and Silva rushes with punches. Cormier with a massive right hand that drops Antonio Silva. WOW! A jab stumbles Silva. And a hook. Silva dives a takedown and it doesn't work at all. Silva tries a kick and is swept to his feet. Dan Cormier just looks like he's toying with him. Dan Cormier drops Big Foot with an uppercut and then just hammer fists him till he's out. WOW HOLY SHIT. MMA Math time...Dan Cormier > Antonio Silva > Fedor Emelianenko?

Official Result: Daniel Cormier by KO


Josh Barnett vs Sergei Kharitonov

Round 1: Barnett found his range for a jab. Sergei lands his own punches. Kharitonov is landing some hard shots. Barnett with a trip takedown and heavy from the top in mount. Kharitonov is having trouble with Barnett's heavy hips. Elbows and punches by Josh Barnett. Barnett isn't working for a finish but he's softening Kharitonov with these punches. This reminds me of the work he did on Brett Rodgers. Kharitonov gives up his back and Barnett working short uppercuts to the chin. Barnett works a side choke and Kharitonov taps. Nice win by Barnett. Awful showing by Sergei Kharitonov. Awful showing. 

Official Result: Josh Barnett by Submission (Side Choke)

SBN coverage of Strikeforce Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov

Chris Mierzwiak vs Dominique Steele

Round 1: They come out hot and Steele lands a combination to open the fight. Mierzwiak shoots a takedown which Steele defends well. He is persistent and gets Dominique to the ground and starts working for an inverted triangle. Steele survives and regains his feet. Steele with a suplex but Mierzwiak scrambles and ends up taking his back. Steele escapes and gets to his feet. Lands a knee to the head. Mierzwiak with his own combination and knee which temporarily drops Steele. He swarms and gets a body triangle and is working for a rear naked choke. Nice surviving by Dominique fighting hands and keeping his chin down. Mierzwiak released the body triangle to get mount and Steele escapes. A jumping knee by Steele and combination to close the round. Super close round but I'd give it to Mierzwiak because of the damage and control. 10-9 Chris Mierzwiak 

Round 2: They open this round a bit slower. Steele attempts a jumping knee which Mierzwiak uses to set up a throw. Steele right back to his feet and shoots a takedown. From the top he's working with heavy control nice ground and pound. Nice knee to the body. Mierzwiak shoots his legs up for a triangle but is slammed for his troubles. Mierzwiak is turtled and eating punches. Mierzwiak stands up and when he turns around receives a jumping knee to his grill. The two fighters are trading punches. Steele works a thai clinch and tries another jumping knee which doesn't land but then follows up with a straight right which drops Chris Mierzwiak. This has been a complete domination by Dominique Steele who is just peppering Chris Mierzwiak with punches as the round ends. 10-8 Dominique Steel. 19-18 going into the 3rd.  

Round 3: The third round and both fighters look to be pretty tired. Mierzwiak is pressing Dominique Steele against the cage but Steele circles off. Mierzwiak with a low kick. Steele responds and then gets the takedown. Mierzwiak looks for an armlock but can't lock it up. Steele takes his back and peppers him with punches. Chris gets back to his feet and lands some nice elbows from the clinch. Steele with a double leg. He's content to sit in Chris Mierzwiak's guard to end the fight. Nice backdoor escape by Mierzwiak and he immediately takes Dominique Steele's back locking in a body triangle. Steele turns in and is now on top in guard. Both fighters are exhausted and the round ends. 10-9 Dominique Steele on my card. Let's see what the judges say. 

Official Result: Dominique Steele by Unanimous Judges Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)

Alexis Davis vs Amanda Nunes

Round 1: Nunes doesn't wait to touch gloves and these girls are just throwing wild punches to the face. This is crazy. Davis looks to clinch up but it only offers temporary salvation as Nunes backs out and throws more punches. Davis responds with her own punches. Nunes works a single and drags Alexis to the ground. Davis gets back to her feet and throws a straight right that connects. Nunes responds with her own but really can't find her range. Davis has her clinched against the cage and is working knees to the legs and body. While Nunes has the output, nothing she's throwing is landing with much power. I'm scoring it 10-9 Alexis Davis. 

Round 2: Davis quickly closes the distance and clinches up. Nunes gets her to the ground but Davis has the high guard. Nunes backs out and Alexis dives for her ankle. They're back to the feet clinched again and Davis is kneeing to the body and legs keeping busy. Nunes tries to work for an outside trip but can't get it. The ref separates them and Nunes is throwing with power. Nothing lands. Davis with her own punches to close the distance and clinch up again. Nice throw by Nunes but Davis rolls through and takes top position. She almost immediately gets mount and Nunes gives up her back and is flattened out. Davis with relentless strikes and the referee stops the fight. Nice win by Alexis Davis. 

Official Result: Alexis Davis by TKO (Referee Stoppage) at 4:53 in Round 2

Evangelista Santos vs Jordan Mein

Round 1:They trade leg kicks but Santos' are landing harder. Nice straight connects for Mein. Santos is finding success with his right leg. Santos tries another which he misses. Mein lands one of his own. These kicks are ridiculous. Neither fight has been particularly active with their hands. Cyborg lands a massive left leg kick which drops Mein and follows up with a combination. Mein comes in and eats a right hook from Cyborg. This is definitely a calculating Cyborg who is beginning to open up with more kicks and punches as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Evangelista Santos. 

Round 2: Mein attempts a kick but it's checked. Santos with a kick to the head. Santos with a big low kick and Mein responds with punches. Big counter right by Mein lands and snaps the head of Santos back. Mein misses with a big head kick. Body shot by Jordan Mein. Mein has found his range and he throws a punishing combination to the body of Evangelista Santos. Santos throws a straight right and Mein dodges and then fires back with his own. Spinning heel kick by Santos doesn't land. (Had a power surge and my TV and Internet went out) 

Round 3: Okay back with 4 minutes left. Mein is landing punches to the body and head. Santos is out on his feet. He's just elbowing Cyborg in the face and the referee stops it. Cyborg crumbles to the ground. 

Official Result: Jordan Mein by TKO (Referee Stoppage)

Rafael Cavalcante vs Yoel Romero

Round 1: Feijao has his right hand loaded up. Yoel is just bouncing on his feet and tries a crane kick which doesn't land. Feijao tries a high kick which just grazes the top of the head. Feijao with body work. Yoel hasn't really committed to anything, he's just circling constantly. Feijao is content not pressing forward. He lands a kick and tries a body punch but doesn't land. Romero gets a warning for not fighting. Yoel is taunting leaving his chin out. Romero tries to steal the round with a takedown but he's unsuccessful. 10-8 Feijao. I'm not giving 10-9 for not doing anything but shooting one takedown. 

Round 2: Body kick by Feijao to open the round. Kick to the groin by Yoel. Action continues and Yoel is bear crawling. Feijao with a high kick and Yoel swarms. Feijao is surviving while Yoel is throwing hayemakers. Feijao throws his own to get some distance. Yoel shoots a takedown and gets it but Feijao is right back to his feet. Feijao with a hard kick to the body and again Yoel taunts. He presses Feijao against the cage but is taken down by the Brazilian. Yoel looks to have found his range and timing. He's connecting on his combinations while Feijao looks gassed with 30 seconds left. A high kick with a spinning back fist drops Romero. Feijao with punches. Yoel gets to his feet but is dropped again and then put out with some ground and pound. Awesome win by Rafael Cavalcante.  

Official Result: Rafael Cavalcante by KO

Mike Kyle vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima

Round 1: Kyle comes out as the aggressor. He hasn't landed anything but is establishing his range. Marcos with a heavy leg kick. Kick to the body by de Lima and Kyle responds with a body punch. Another leg kick by de Lima. Kyle is working his range well. Bas Rutten with a Karate Kid reference. Nice jab by Mike Kyle. Mike Kyle is leaving his chin high and he got caught by a wild punch from de Lima. It looks like de Lima is hurt as he backs away to the cage awkwardly. Body work by Mike Kyle. Looks like de Lima is playing possum. Mike Kyle with a punch that stuns de Lima. The round ends with Marcos de Lima awkwardly standing and walking around. 10-9 Mike Kyle. 

Round 2: Marcos de Lima opens the round with a low kick combination attacking the inside and outside of Mike Kyle's left thigh. Kyle comes forward but is backed up with a combination that lands to the side of head. Marcos lands another kick to the leg. Kyle fires off with a jab and straight. Leg kick and left hook by de Lima connect. Mike Kyle using the technical boxing but he's leaving his chin way up in the air. Marcos lands a kick to the leg that forced Mike Kyle to step away. Jab lands for Kyle again. He's found a home for it in these two rounds. Mike Kyle shoots a takedown and gets it with a minute left in the round. Marcos back to his feet but he's thrown back down. A close call with a double kick to the chest which looks to have landed to the face. 10-9 Mike Kyle but that was super close.  

Round 3: Left hook by Mike Kyle stands de Lima straight up. A follow up jab snaps his head back as well. Leg kick lands for de Lima. Combination ends with a leg kick for de Lima. Marcos de Lima is landing that leg kick with ease. Mike Kyle is sliding around on the mat. He gets a takedown and ends in half guard. Works body-body-head constantly. He's staying heavy on top as de Lima looks to shrimp out and get his guard back. Kyle is working to pass and uses his shoulder to create space. The grinding has opened a cut over his left eye. The round ends with Mike Kyle on top. 10-9 Mike Kyle. 

Official Result: Mike Kyle by Unanimous Decision