Whenever you are given an opportunity in life, you need to take it and run with it just like Daniel Cormier. Cormier (10-0) was a replacement in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament last year. He took that chance that was given to him and became the heavyweight champion tonight at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.
He won a unanimous decision over Josh "The Warmaster" Barnett (31-6) in a rather stunning fashion. Cormier opened up cuts on Barnett's face with a series of elbows in the second round. The signature move of the match occurred in the third round when Cormier bodyslammed Barnett in the middle of the cage.
The judges scored the fight 49-46, 50-45, 50-45. Cormier was able to dominate throughout the entire fight even though Barnett had so much experience. The key to the fight was that Cormier's superior wrestling negated Barnett's submission style. Cormier's streak of not being taken down in a fight continues on with relative ease.
In the co-main event of the evening, lightweight champ Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez (21-2) eked out a split decision victory over Josh "Punk" Thompson (19-5, 1 NC). Two judges had Melendez winning the fight with 48-47 scores while one judge had Thompson winning 48-47.
Never leave a fight to the judges because it appeared Thompson did more damage throughout the third fight of their awesome trilogy.