Newly re-dubbed Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett is on deck to face off against Russian striker Sergei Kharitonov next weekend in the semi-finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and, though he realizes he has a stiff test directly in front of him, he’s still surveying the action on the other side of the bracket.
On the same night that he faces Kharitonov, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva will take on tournament alternate Daniel Cormier for a shot at competing in the finals. During a recent appearance on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Barnett discussed that fight and, in particular, what it is that makes Silva a viable competitor.
“The thing about ‘Bigfoot,’ he’s a big guy and he’s agile for a big guy, but he’s not that agile and he’s not that athletic,” assessed the fighter formerly known as The Baby Faced Assassin. “In fact, being a big guy is probably his greatest asset.”
Though Cormier wasn’t an original participant in the tournament — he steps in for Alistair Overeem — Barnett believes that the Olympic caliber wrestler will be a tough fight for Silva, as he won’t allow him to get the fight to the ground where he can use his mass to control the action.
“You could almost say that I’m sure he’s had his issues growing up with a thing like gigantism, and all the difficulty that’s come from that. But gigantism is what actually allows him to be a decent fighter, because he doesn’t do anything particularly awesome, but he’s just massive,” said Barnett. “But all of his fights come down to him getting the takedown. Those are the ones he wins, and against Cormier I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
The Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-finals go down at Strikeforce 36 this September 10 at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.