When the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix was set up, the initial field featured Josh Barnett, Brett Rogers, Sergei Kharitonov, Andrei Arlovski, Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio “Giant” Silva, Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum.
Though the tournament lost some luster by dragging on and losing promotional heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem to the UFC, current finalist Josh Barnett believes it will stand the test of time as a truly great tournament.
“As a Grand Prix, this was arguably the best collection of heavyweights that there had ever been put together,” said Barnett. “I think, I mean, this is a tournament that’s going to be marred with an asterisk here and there because of the way things turned out: one guy going this way, and that and this…
“But I think when it’s all said and done, if you were to watch it front and back, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that could seriously say, ‘I hated this. It did not live up to its end.’ I think it’s going to shine. I think it’s going to deliver.”
Barnett is set to wrap up the Grand Prix on the 19th of this month at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, where he’ll meet fellow finalist (and tournament alternate) Daniel Cormier.