After more than a year of tournament action, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix is coming to a close on Saturday Night. If that was not enough, Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson will conclude their epic title fight trilogy as well. Also, there are two key fights in both the light heavyweight division and the welterweight division that both feature title implications.
Kicking off the action is a welterweight division fight as Nah-Shon “The Rock-N-Rolla” Burrell (8-1-0) competes against Christopher “The Kiss” Spang (4-1-0). Nah-Shon Burrell is currently undefeated in Strikeforce competition, having defeated Joe Ray, Lukasz Lez and James Terry. Chris Spang has split both of his Strikeforce fights, defeating Joe Ray and suffering a defeat to Ricky Legere Jr.. This is easily the biggest fights in both fighters careers, but it will be Nah-Shon Burrell pulling out the victory.
We move to the light heavyweight division for the next fight as Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (11-3-0) battles Mike “MAK” Kyle (19-8-0). Rafael Cavalcante is the former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, having defeated King Mo at Strikeforce: Houston to win the title. Mike Kyle has previously defeated Rafael Cavalcante by TKO at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields in June 2009. While this rematch should be an entertaining affair, it will feature a different result as Rafael Cavalcante gets the win.
Up next is a Strikeforce Lightweight Title Fight as champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (20-2-0) faces Josh “The Punk” Thomson (19-4-0). Gilbert Melendez has defended the title three times thus far with victories over Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Jorge Masvidal. Josh Thomson earned himself a title shot after defeating KJ Noons by decision at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey. The first two battles between these two have been epic and this one will be again as Gilbert Melendez retains the title.
Headlining this card is the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Finals as Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett (31-5-0) takes on Daniel Cormier (9-0-0). Josh Barnett advanced to the tournament finals by defeating both Brett Rogers and Sergei Kharitonov. Daniel Cormier advanced to the finals as a tournament alternate by defeating Antonio Silva in the semi-finals. The winner of this fight will most likely head to the UFC and that fighter is going to be the undefeated Daniel Cormier.
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