During Tuesday’s media conference call, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated the winner of their Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament would NOT be crowned the company’s new 265-pound king.
We asked Josh Barnett, who is the odds-on favorite to take the tourney, if his excitement level deflated upon hearing the unfortunate news and the former UFC champion went WWE with his response.
“No, the title and things like that are a spoil of war,” Barnett told 5thRound.com. “You have to go out there and win battles before you can raid the dead of their belongings.”
Um, okay. Would you care to elaborate?
“You have to go out there and you have to beat your opponent,” the part-time professional wrestler added. “Otherwise, you just get to walk home with a black eye and wounded pride.”
While Barnett remains focused on his semifinal bout against Sergei Kharitonov and advancing to the final round of the tournament, it doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t have gold on his mind. Deep down inside, the 33-year-old is hoping Coker will change his mind and sweeten the pot.
“Honesty, yeah, I would love it if the finals of this tournament was for the heavyweight title,” Barnett expressed. “I would love that. I think that’s great and it would add a great punctuation mark to the end of it, but it doesn’t change my attitude in getting the job done.”
When the HW GP was originally announced, Coker expected the tournament winner to unify the title against then-champ Alistair Overeem. Now that it appears “The Demolition Man” is destined for the UFC, the belt is sitting all by its lonesome.
The Strikeforce HW GP resumes September 10th inside the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.