Daniel Cormier won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Saturday defeating Josh Barnett by unanimous decision. He used his wrestling and striking to pick apart Barnett for five rounds. He may have one more fight in the UFC, but after he and hopefully the rest of the Strikeforce heavyweights will be dissolved into the UFC.
Cormier defeated whom I have ranked as the sixth ranked heavyweight and dominated him. Other than a knee landed by Barnett in the first round the fight was never really in question. He showed he can use his wrestling to defeat some tough guys and now the question is who is next for Cormier?
Some fans might want to give him an immediate shot at the UFC, but I don’t think he has the resume for that yet. He isn’t as hyped up as Nick Diaz or Jake Shields when they came over from Strikeforce so he may need two or three fights to earn a shot. UFC 146 is going to clear up a lot of things and give him a few options for fights.
I would love to see him fight Cain Velasquez in a No. 1 contender bout, but they both train at AKA and that wouldn’t happen. There is a ton of hype surrounding Mark Hunt right now and he was just removed from UFC 146 with an injury and that would be a fight he could take off the injury.
Dana White may not make that because of his thoughts on Hunt. Yes, Hunt has won three straight, but Dana White wants him to win against another opponent before he gets a top ten name.
A fight against the winner of Fabricio Werdum-Mike Russow could make sense. Werdum defeated Fedor and he and Cormier both looked impressive in their most recent fight. Werdum has some of the best jiu-jitsu in the UFC and his striking is improving every fight.
Cormier could also get the winner of Stevan Struve-Lavar Johnson since Struve is generally used as a launching pad for fighters and Johnson has looked great in his two fights.
Currently there are not a lot of open opponents for Cormier, but after the UFC 146 card Cormier and the UFC will have plenty of options to test the newly crowned Grand Prix winner.