Strikeforce returns to the big stage this weekend (Sat., Sept., 10, 2011) with the continuation of its heavyweight grand prix tournament at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In the main event of the evening, Josh Barnett takes on Sergei Kharitonov in semifinal action, while Antonio Silva takes on Daniel Cormier, who replaces former Strikeforce champion and now Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contender, Alistair Overeem, on the other side of the bracket.
The winners of these two matches will eventually collide in the tournament final at a later date for the right to wear the 2011 Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix belt (see a pic of the hardware right here).
Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo Souza is also set to compete, putting his 185-pound title on the line against Luke Rockhold. "Jacare" has defended the belt once (Robbie Lawler) since beating Tim Kennedy via decision to win the vacant strap in Aug. 2010.
Here is the complete main card that will air live on Showtime, beginning at 10 p.m. ET (delayed on the west coast):
- Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov
- Daniel Cormier vs. Antonio Silva
- Ronaldo Souza vs. Luke Rockhold
- Roger Gracie vs. Muhammed Lawal
- Maximo Blanco vs. Pat Healy
In addition, the preliminary bouts -- Mike Kyle vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima and Rafael Cavalcante vs. Yoel Romero, among others -- will be broadcast live on HDNet, airing at 8 p.m. ET.
MMA Nation, as usual, will provide complete bell-to-bell coverage of the entire Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Kharitonov" event on fight night from both broadcasts. And to help get you prepared for the festivities we will provide previews from this day forth of all the individual match ups planned for the Showtime telecast.