Josh Barnett slips on a kick attempt, but Daniel Cormier doesn't follow to the ground. The Olympic wrestler is showing some quick hands early as he lands a jab-straight right combination. Cormier lands a knee in the clinch and a right hook on the exit.
Barnett lands a knee to the body, but Cormier answers with a left hook and more knees to the body. "The Warmaster" lands a leg kick and stepping elbow. The American Kickboxing Academy product lands a leg kick to Barnett's lead leg and uses a push kick to back the former UFC champion into the fence.
Barnett presses forward and lands a right hand that will give him some confidence, but the opening round goes to Cormier.
B/R scores the round 10-9 Cormier.
A jab-left hook combination lands for Cormier. Barnett answers with a leg kick and straight right, but Cormier answers with a right uppercut. Cormier digs a punch into the body of Barnett and takes the fight to the ground with a high crotch.
Barnett throws his legs up for a triangle choke attempt, but Cormier postures up and avoids it. Barnett attacks the leg of Cormier now, but the Olympian slips out of the submission attempt with one minute left in the round. Cormier is opening Barnett's face up with elbows and is on his way to a two-round lead in this bout.
B/R scores the round 10-9 Cormier (20-18 Cormier).
Barnett comes forward with urgency in the final round, but Cormier lands a looping right hook. Barnett lands a knee to the body and looks for a takedown, but the world-class wrestler easily shuts it down. Cormier slips and rips to the body of Barnett, who also eats a left hook.
Cormier shoots in for a high crotch and flips Barnett head over heels onto his back. Cormier immediately moves to side control, but Barnett escapes midway through the final round. The pace slows until Barnett counters a Cormier takedown attempt with a knee to the body.
Cormier lands a head kick and hurts Barnett. With under a minute to go in the fight, Cormier takes Barnett's back from a standing position. The Alistair Overeem replacement in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix holds the position until the round ends.
B/R scores the round 10-9 Cormier (30-27 Cormier).
A left hook lands for Cormier. Barnett gets hit with an uppercut. The Pride veteran rushes forward and presses Cormier against the cage, but Cormier moves away from the fence easily. Cormier fakes a takedown attempt and lands a right hand. A second takedown attempt is successful, though.
However, Barnett attacks Cormier's leg for a submission attempt. Cormier slides out of it and starts delivering elbows with one minute left in the round. After a break in action, the fighters are stood up and Barnett lands a knee to the body.
B/R scores the round 10-9 Cormier (40-36 Cormier).
Barnett may need a finish here in order to give UFC president Dana White a reason to bring him back to the Octagon. The pace is slow in this final round, though.
Barnett lands a knee to the head of Cormier, but the former Olympian is unaffected. A jab-straight right combination lands for Cormier, who ducks a spinning backfist and takes the fight to the ground. Cormier lifts Barnett, but he can't take the larger heavyweight to the ground.
Cormeir could be on his way to the UFC, where he will be an instant contender for the heavyweight title.
B/R scores the round 10-9 Cormier (50-45 Cormier).
Cormier defeats Barnett by unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-45).