It’s been over nine years since Josh Barnett (Pictured) wrapped the UFC belt around his waist. Now that he has advanced to the final round of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix against Daniel Cormier, Barnett is petitioning for the tournament’s victor to be crowned the company’s new king.
“All right, Scott. Why don’t we sweeten the pot?” Barnett asked company CEO Scott Coker at the post-fight press conference. “Why don’t we put that title on the line between me and Cormier? Either one of us is a grand champion.
“Either one of us is the kind of guy who will hold it proud, hold our pants up with it and people will look at us and say, ‘Those guys are champs. That’s the kind of people we want representing our company.'”
When the HW GP was originally announced, Coker expected the tourney winner to unify the title against then-champ Alistair Overeem. Now that “The Demolition Man” has decided to take his talents to the Octagon, the Strikeforce belt is sitting all by its lonesome.
While Coker doesn’t want to anoint the tournament winner as the company’s new 265-pound champion, they will be rewarded with a belt. Although the new strap is plastered with tacky white laminate, Barnett still wants to take it home. More importantly, “The Warmaster” wants for whoever hoists the hardware to be dubbed the Strikeforce heavyweight champ.
“That’s an amazing belt, but Strikeforce needs a real champ,” he emphatically stated. “They need a champ like me and Cormier. One of the two of us has to be it. Because besides us, who is it?”
To his credit, Barnett’s cries didn’t go completely unheard. Coker slightly softened on his stance by claiming he’ll get back to Barnett on the subject. The Grand Prix is expected to conclude sometime in the beginning of 2012.