Following his vicious knockout victory over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the semifinals of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix, it appears Daniel Cormier (Pictured) has emerged as everyone’s new favorite Strikeforce heavyweight – at least with the 265-pounders who were recently polled.
Despite entering the tournament as a replacement, and riding the pine for several months mending his broken right hand, Cormier’s performance against the Brazilian has several of his UFC counterparts believing he’ll beat veteran Josh Barnett and take the tourney.
The shootout goes down Saturday inside HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. Showtime will broadcast the main card beginning at 10PM ET/PT.
Here’s what some of the UFC’s stars had to say:
Junior dos Santos (UFC heavyweight champion):
“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 (Former two-time UFC heavyweight champ):
“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 champ and Cormier’s AKA teammate):
“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 (Slapped silly by Cormier in his last outing):
“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.”