John Heinis: An undefeated prospect with a strong wrestling background taking on a 15-year fight veteran with wicked submissions makes for a great main event.
Josh Barnett made it to the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finals by defeating Brett Rogers and Sergei Kharitonov, while Cormier was actually a replacement for former promotional champion Alistair Overeem.
The former Olympic-level wrestler proved he belonged in the tournament in the first place by knocking out Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva back in September.
Cormier is 9-0 with seven finishes. The American Kickboxing Academy product is also 3-0 under the Strikeforce banner.
However, Barnett is a very impressive 31-5, riding an eight-fight win streak, and has seen the big stage plenty of times before against names like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Pedro Rizzo, Mark Hunt and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, to name a few.
Despite a clear experience advantage, I can't see how Barnett can get this fight to the ground to lock up one of his patented submissions, so I see Cormier adding another signature win to his resume in a great heavyweight scrap.
Daniel Cormier via third-round TKO
Matt Juul: The unlikely last men standing in Strikeforce's drawn-out heavyweight grand prix, Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier have beaten the odds to make it to the tournament finale and will definitely put on a show Saturday night.
Barnett, who's riding an impressive eight-fight winning streak coming into this bout, is a skilled submission artist with serious knockout power.
His years of experience will give him an edge over the undefeated rising star.
Cormier, who's proven himself to be a threat in the heavyweight division, will make it a war considering his world-class wrestling and heavy hands.
But with Barnett's submission skills and his more technical striking, expect the former UFC champ to add another piece of gold to his trophy case.
Josh Barnett via third-round submission
Jeff McKinney: After starting over a year ago, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix will finally come to a close.
At the start of the Grand Prix, names like Fedor, Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum were possible front runners to win the tournament.
Now Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier stand not only as the final two participants, but the last heavyweights in Strikeforce today.
Barnett is coming into this bout on an eight-fight winning streak with a majority of his wins coming by knockout or submission.
Cormier’s fight career hasn’t even lasted as long as Barnett’s winning streak.
But Cormier has proved that he has some serious power in his hands.
Both men come into this bout with great wrestling backgrounds.
Cormier was a D-1 college wrestler and competed on the U.S. wrestling team in the 2004 Olympics.
Barnett, on the other hand, comes from a catch wrestling background, which he has used to rack up 17 submission victories.
Although Cromier has the power to take out just about anybody, I believe Barnett will use his experience to find a way to pull off a submission victory and gain another chance at the UFC.
Josh Barnett by submission
Kyle Symes: Initially met with a great deal of intrigue, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix will finally come to an end after a tumultuous ride.
Josh Barnett will attempt to prove his supporters correct when he was pegged as an early favorite to win the tournament, while Daniel Cormier will look to complete one of the craziest stories in Strikeforce history.
Barnett has the experience edge and has fought for a number of top promotions, including the UFC, where he was once the heavyweight champion.
Barnett has one of the best top games in the division and is a handful for anyone in the grappling department.
Cormier was slated as a reserve in the initial setup of the Grand Prix, but has won his way to the finals after injuries and one of the craziest upsets against Antonio Silva.
The Brazilian was on quite a roll before being rocked and finished by Cormier. The AKA coach/fighter brings Olympic-level wrestling to the cage with ever-improving striking as well.
The common saying is that when two wrestlers face off, fans will be treated to a sloppy brawl on the feet.
If the fight remains on the feet, I would give the edge to Cormier, as he's shown to have KO power and will likely have more of an array of strikes due to his training at AKA.
The real test for either man will be once the fight hits the mat. Both men have great top games and whoever doesn't panic on their back will emerge victorious.
Barnett has the better submission skills, but the problem will be getting Cormier to the canvas in order to utilize that advantage.
If Barnett can't take down the former Olympian, look for Cormier to unload with an array of kicks and punches.
I believe Cormier will avoid the takedown unless it's to secure a round on points or simply to avoid getting tagged, as Barnett has a clear advantage with his submission skills.
The fight is a toss-up and you could pick either man without reproach. Barnett will be Cormier's toughest test to date and Cormier will be one of the best wrestlers Barnett has faced in his career.
I believe Barnett has the skills to take the fight into deep water but I can't help but ride the wave of momentum and predict a victory for Cormier.
Daniel Cormier via unanimous decision