The latest installment of Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix delivered a bizarre night of fights that featured a no decision, a submission due to strikes, and a weird main event where neither fighter showed off his best work. But who did stand out?
No. 1 star -- Jorge Masvidal: As the non-heavyweights on the main card, Masvidal and K.J Noons had the tall order of showing what the little guys can do. Masvidal lived up to expectations, putting on a show with K.J. Noons' face on the unfortunate receiving end. A kick to the neck leveled Noons near the end of the first round, and Masvidal never looked back. Now, he wants a shot at Gilbert Melendez and the Strikeforce lightweight title.
No. 2 star -- Josh Barnett: After not fighting for nearly a year, Barnett had no problem disposing of Brett Rogers. He used catch wrestling to control Rogers before locking up an arm-triangle choke, and then launched into a speech that showed why fans still love Barnett. Next, he'll face Sergei Kharitonov in the semifinals of the Strikeforce heavyweight GP.
No. 3 star -- Daniel Cormier: You would expect a two-time Olympic wrestler to control a fight with takedowns, but Cormier chose to show off how much his stand-up game has grown in the two years that he's been training in MMA. He stayed away from Jeff Monson's submission game, and stuck to a gameplan that involved peppering Monson with combinations. Cormier told Cagewriter that he would like a chance against Chad Griggs, who put on an impressive performance of his own against Valentijn Overeem, or Shane del Rosario.
Honorable mention -- K.J. Noons: On a night where Valentijn Overeem tapped out from a fight because of strikes, and Fabricio Werdum oddly refused to engage Alistair Overeem, Noons showed true heart in continuing to give his all in a losing effort to Masvidal.
Who were your Three Stars from the weekend? Speak your mind in the comments or on Facebook.
- Jorge Masvidal
- Josh Barnett
- Daniel Cormier