“Strikeforce HW GP Semifinals: Barnett vs. Kharitonov” took place Saturday night inside the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The company’s Heavyweight Grand Prix headlined the Showtime broadcast. Replacement Daniel Cormier knocked out Antonio Silva to advance to the tournament’s final round in the night’s co-featured contest. In the tourney’s other semifinals matchup, Josh Barnett made quick work of Sergei Kharitonov in the night’s main event.
The HW GP Finals are expected to go down sometime in the first quarter of 2012.
Long shot Luke Rockhold served up an upset special over 4-to-1 favorite Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to capture the Strikeforce middleweight title in the card’s third-to-last contest.
Dominique Steele Defeated Chris Mierzwiak via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Alexis Davis Defeated Amanda Nunes via TKO (Strikes) at 4:53 in the 2ndRound
Jordan Mein Defeated Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos via TKO (Elbows) at 3: 18 in the 3rdRound
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante Defeated Yoel Romero via KO (Punch) at 4:51 in the 2ndRound
Mike Kyle Defeated Marcos Rogerio de Lima via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Patrick Healy Defeated Maximo Blanco via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 4:24 in the 2ndDound
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal Defeated Roger Gracie via KO (Punch) at 4:33 in the 1stRound
Luke Rockhold Defeated via Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza Unanimous Decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47) (Rockhold captures Strikeforce middleweight title)
Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals:
Daniel Cormier Defeated Antonio Silva via KO (Punches) at 3:56 in the 1stRound
Josh Barnett Defeated Sergei Kharitonov via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 4:28 in the 1stRound
Luke Rockhold said he felt good about the controversial decision. He believes he came back strong and won most of the rounds.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza thought it was a close fight. He felt he might have won, but is satisfied because it was a great fight.
Daniel Cormier believes he hurt his right hand the first time he knocked Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva down.
Cormier thought the right uppercut did the trick on Bigfoot, but he wasn’t going to stop hitting him until the referee stepped in.
Josh Barnett stated Sergei Kharitonov didn’t do much damage at the beginning of the fight, even though it looked like he did.
Barnett admitted he likes getting hit a little bit. He enjoys the violence and the pain.
He said he’s going to have to get takedowns against Cormier in the tournament’s final round.
Cormier quickly chimed in, “Not going to happen.”
Scott Coker didn’t reveal the official night’s attendance, which some have unofficially estimated to be under 1,800, but admitted ticket sales were rough.
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal reiterated that he won’t fight for a vacated title. If he can’t get light heavyweight champ Dan Henderson, then wants to rematch Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.
According to Coker, they are still negotiating with Hendo.
Barnett pleaded with Coker to anoint the Heavyweight Grand Prix winner as Strikeforce’s new 265-pound champion. He professed the division needed a real champ now that Alistair Overeem is gone.
Coker said he’ll get back to Barnett on it. He claimed anything can happen in a tournament and they’ll take it one step at a time.