On Saturday, the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix will come to a conclusion and the lightweight belt will be tested. When the fights are over, we'll have answers to these questions:
1. Where do Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier stand in the heavyweight division? Both Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier are expected to be brought over to the UFC after this fight. While Strikeforce originally promised the grand prix winner a fight in Strikeforce after the win, every other heavyweight in their employ is now in the UFC. It's more likely that they will be in the UFC sooner than later, and how they perform in this Saturday's bout will decide what kind of challenge they will be given.
A strong performance can ensure the winner starts near the top of the ladder, fighting in an elimination bout. A weak, boring performance means the loser may end up having a long way to fight before getting anywhere near UFC gold.
2. Is Gilbert Melendez one of the world's best lightweights? Though fighting in one of the most packed weight classes, Melendez hasn't fought Frankie Edgar, Benson Henderson or any of the other top lightweights of the UFC, so it's hard to know where to rank him. With Josh Thomson, Melendez will get a chance both to prove himself against a tough opponent and a shot at winning the rubber match.
3. Who deserves a shot at the Strikeforce light heavyweight belt? Since Dan Henderson left for the UFC, the Strikeforce light heavyweight strap has been sitting on a shelf, collecting dust. Saturday's bout between Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante and Mike Kyle will help Strikeforce decide who should get that shot at the vacant title.
Related Josh Barnett video from Yahoo! Sports: