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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
In a fantastic all-around performance on Saturday night, Daniel Cormier became the Strikeforce Heavyweight World Grand Prix winner with a five-round decision over Josh Barnett on Showtime in San Jose, Calif.
The 33-year-old former Olympian moved his two and a half year MMA record to a perfect 10-0 with the win, and became just the fourth man to defeat Barnett ever. The loss also snapped an eight-fight winning streak, and was his first loss since 2006.
Barnett's incredibly improved striking was on display throughout the fight. His head movement was superb and he avoided much of Barnett's attack while popping in with combinations. With almost every exchange, Cormier landed multiple strikes to single shots from Barnett.
Cormier's wrestling also proved to be superior to Barnett's. He stuffed several attempts by Barnett, and scored several takedowns of his own. That included one of the best slams ever when he grabbed a single leg in the third round, then nearly dropped Barnett on his head. On the ground, he delivered some vicious ground and pound with elbows and punches, and avoided one near heel hook attempt by Barnett.
He then coasted through the fifth round, but it was still an incredibly impressive display from a fighter really coming into his own in the heavyweight division. Though he still may have one more fight remaining in Strikeforce, Cormier showed he's more than ready for a shot in the UFC's Octagon.
Penick's Analysis: This was a wonderful performance by Cormier, and the progression he's shown from fight to fight to fight has been fantastic. He's easily the most credentialed wrestler in the heavyweight division, and his striking has become an immense weapon for him as well. He's a very well rounded fighter, he can take a punch, and he will be a massive test for any fighter put across the cage from him. Great win, and a great fight for him.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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