Judging from the views John Moody’s interview with Dana White received (over 40,000, congratulations John!), people are interested in what Dana White thinks of strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. Recently, the always-controversial UFC President revealed who he think will win the Grand Prix, and why. And in a bit of a shocker, White picked a man that he’s had many troubles with in the past, a man that’s actually on the shortlist of fighters permanently exiled from the UFC: former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett. Here are all the details.
SBNation reports that Dave Meltzer, head of the Wrestling Observer newsletter, recently said that he had talked to Dana White and that White had personally picked Barnett to win the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. Dana White also said that he believed that Barnett would meet Fabricio Werdum in the finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix, effectively giving fight fans a complete look at how he thinks the Strikeforce tournament will shake out.
If you’ll remember, fans and friends, I put together a list of what I thought Barnett had to do in order to win the Heavyweight Grand Prix. As with all the tournament participants, I think Barnett has a shot of winning it all. It’s just that a lot of people, including me, believe that he has less of a perceived chance than some of the tournament’s heavy hitters, like Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum. Then again, the same was said about Sergei Kharitonov and Antonio Silva, and we all know how those fights ended up turning out.
I think that it’s honestly very possible that Josh Barnett will end up in the finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix. Brett Rogers has dynamite in his hands, of that there can be no doubt, but Barnett has tons of experience on him. I think “The Grim” is a tough test for anyone, but Barnett is the odds-on favorite to win the match and I like those odds.
Getting past Sergei Kharitonov will be equally tough, but if the fight with Rogers goes the way many think it will, what Barnett does to beat Brett Rogers will also work against Kharitonov. If Barnett can utilize his catch wrestling while weathering the storm of Kharitonov’s punches thanks to some good footwork and a solid chin, Barnett should end up neutralizing Sergei with some intense Ground and Pound.
But then we come to the finals, and that’s definitely where I find myself disagreeing with Dana White.
I hate to sound like an unabashed fanboy, but I absolutely believe that Alistair Overeem is going to be the one to win this tournament. Overeem knows better than to fall into Fabricio Werdum’s many traps, he’ll go in for the kill only when Werdum is already half-unconscious to begin with. Against Silva, even the mighty chin of “Bigfoot” won’t be able to withstand the blows of the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion. And in the finals, you’ll have Barnett face Overeem in a bout that shows Barnett’s true toughness, but eventually Overeem’s superior technique will shine through once again and Barnett will be dropped and stopped.
But of course, that’s just what I think will happen. So let’s get some debate going, fans and friends. Who do you side with, me or Dana White? Or do you think someone entirely different will win the Grand Prix?