When Zuffa decided to move Strikeforce’s heavyweight division over into the UFC, it was stated that the winner of the long-running Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix would fight once more in the organization against a big-name opponent. The bout was referred to as a “plus-one” bout. With the GP Final between Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier finally set for May 19th, what will happen afterwards? On a recent conference call to hype the event, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker admitted that he doesn’t know what the deal is yet:
“There have been some preliminary conversations, but as you can imagine, it depends on who wins and if there are any injuries, (or) any injuries to other fighters that we might be looking to come fight the winner.” That’s something that we could probably have a better picture of once the fight’s over and see if there are any injuries.”
Both GP finals fighters had the right things to say about the situation. First Barnett:
“Me? I do not care. It does not matter. I’ve got to beat Daniel Cormier, and then after that I’m sure there will be somebody else, and whatever they’re doing someplace else, more power to them.”
“Scott Coker, everybody at Zuffa’s done a great job of letting us know that after this fight you aren’t going over. You know that you have to fight in Strikeforce, so my idea that I have this fight and another one in Strikeforce. Whatever happens after that happens. Because in reality, that’s not till probably next year, so what’s the point in talking seven, eight months in advance when you’ve got a guy like Josh Barnett standing in front of you? I’m not doing myself that disservice.”
Still though, it has to be frustrating for both fighters. By doing well in the tournament, they’ve actually hindered their own careers to a degree by getting stuck in Strikeforce while former GP competitors like Antonio Silva and Fabricio Werdum are set to fight on UFC pay-per-view main cards. Both men would be contenders in the UFC heavyweight division, so I hope they scrap this “plus-one” idea and just bring them over ASAP.
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