Through and through, media coverage for Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov has been sparse; the crowd that showed up at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati last night, is generously described as a crowd.
To hear Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal tell it, competing on the card was like hanging around a cancer ward: Strikeforce is dying, the writing is on the wall regardless of what the banners say. Regardless of the fact that it seems clear Strikeforce’s fate is to become part of the UFC, Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix finalist and former UFC champ Josh Barnett isn’t thinking about a possible future in that promotion; he’s only focusing on his dance partner for the finals, Olympic-caliber wrestler Daniel Cormier.
“No. I don’t,” Barnett told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani when asked if he has his eye on a UFC future. “What I see is an Olympic Bronze medalist that wants to beat me up in front of everybody. That’s what I see. That guy is standing in front of me and the belt and that’s what I’ve gotta focus on. It’s like I said on that conference call, you get nothing until you’ve laid everybody down and set ’em six feet under. Then you wanna grab the contracts, you wanna get the belts, you want the spoils of war, the trinkets and the bobbles — go take ’em. They’re dead. What’re they gonna do? They can’t stop you and you’re gonna be the only one to tell the history.”
Cormier and Barnett advanced to the finals by defeating Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Sergei Kharitonov, respectively. The finals are expected to take place early next year, but it will likely depend on the severity of a hand injury Cormier incurred in his fight with Silva.