If Josh Barnett’s goal was to reemerge on the American MMA scene by scoring a big win and showcasing an even bigger persona, he succeeded.
The “War Master” got back to action for the first time in a year and for the first time on US soil since January of 2009 last night in the co-main event of Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum. Barnett met Brett Rogers in the quarterfinals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and thoroughly dominated the Chicagoan brawler en route to scoring a second round submission finish via arm triangle.
The fight was all Barnett from the opening bell, with the 33-year-old managing to get “The Grim” to the mat in short order, where he quickly established mount. Rogers tried hard to shake Barnett off, but the seasoned fighter held his ground and the position for the entirety of the first frame.
The second round showed more of the same, with Barnett getting Rogers down and mounted early on. Once there, Barnett applied an arm triangle which had Rogers tapping before he had fully established the position.
Keeping up his pro-wrestling inspired act, which he debuted at the open workouts — MMAFighting.com has a video up of Barnett and his teammate engaging in a full-on pro-wrestling match before launching into an impassioned tirade on the hard times he’s gone through, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already — Barnett politely snatched the microphone from Strikeforce commentator Gus Johnson’s hands post-fight and delivered another memorable speech ending with the promise that he’ll end the Grand Prix standing over his fallen competitors with the belt.
With the win, Barnett improved to 30-5 and advances to the semi-finals where he’ll meet Sergei Kharitonov.
Rogers falls to 11-3 and makes it 1-3 in his last four bouts.