Josh Barnett has held world heavyweight championships before.
Now, as he enters the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, “The Warmaster” feels like the company needs to put the vacant title on the line.
Barnett (31-5) defeated Sergei Kharitonov this past weekend at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov and will meet Daniel Cormier (9-0), who toppled Antonio Silva on the same card.
The Strikeforce heavyweight championship has been vacant since Alistair Overeem was released by the company. Overeem has since signed with the UFC.
“Why don’t we sweeten the pot? Why don’t we put that title on the line between me and Cormier?” Barnett said. “Either one of us is a grand champion. Either one of us is the kind of guy who will hold it proud.”
Barnett was talking directly to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker with his comments. Coker has remained quiet on the issue, saying only that another belt will be presented to the grand prix winner.
“I think that tournament belt, it’s a beautiful job. That’s an amazing belt, but Strikeforce needs a real champ,” Barnett said. “They need a champ like me and Cormier. One of the two of us has to be it. Because besides us, who is it?”
Overeem is just one of three Strikeforce fighters to leave the company and sign with the UFC along with Jake Shields and Nick Diaz.
As for the grand prix finals, no date for a Barnett-Cormier fight has been set, as Cormier awaits word on what he believes could be a broken hand.