This Saturday, May 19th, STRIKEFORCE runs the final of their long running Heavyweight Tournament, when Josh Barnett meets Daniel Cormier. When the tournament started more than a year ago, it had probably more talent than the UFC’s current Heavyweight division. Now it limps to a close, and how is this for incentive – the winner doesn’t get to go to the UFC like many of the fighters eliminated from the tournament. The winner gets to headline another STRIKEFORCE card! It is almost like deliberate neglect on the part of Zuffa – if they were gonna completely not care, why buy STRIKEFORCE?
Anyway, both athletes can be counted on to come and give there all, and it is an intriguing matchup. It shows in that it is a near pick ‘em fight.
I’ve read around here where some people think that Cormier is a better striker than Barnett. That is a foolish thought, and may lead to a mistake in betting.
One scenario that could very well happen is the fight can settle down into a boring stand up fight. Barnett is going to enjoy a reach advantage, and the advantage of using kicks, which we really havent seen out of Cormier.
Barnett has been out there talking about how he is going to take down the Olympian. I think his game plan is going to be to frustrate Cormier on his feet, and get Cormier to take him down where Barnett can work his ‘catch wrestling’ game.
The only real fear is Cormier’s big power punches, and Cormier does have power. But because he packs some thunder in his hand, remember he also has broken it on multiple occasson. And as a lifelong wrestler who is in his 30′s, Cormier is unlikely to have the polish on his standup game to box 5 minutes at a time.
I think all of Barnett’s experience advantage will go into that – designing the winning gameplan. Sure if Cormier gets crossed up and you can put him on his back do it. But the sheer fact that he is telling the media he is going to get a takedown tells me one thing – that isn’t what Barnett is going to do.