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Barnett reaches Strikeforce Grand Prix final

Josh Barnett is introduced to the crowd at

Josh Barnett is introduced to the crowd at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on the first night of the Strikeforce Grand Prix. He'll fight Brett Rogers later this year in the quarterfinal round of the tournament. (Feb. 12, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday / Mario Gonzalez

As most people hypothesized when the bracket was released some 10 months ago, Josh Barnett advanced to the Strikeforce Heavyweight World Grand Prix final on Saturday night.

Barnett, a former UFC heavyweight champion and three-time positive tester for performance-enhancing drugs, systematically beat Sergei Kharitonov by submission with 32 seconds left in the first round.

Kharitonov is a solid striker with little wrestling skills. "I think he hit me and gave me a Cro Magnum forehead," Barnett said about some of the early shots he took from Kharitonov.

Barnett is a catch wrestler and has an extremely solid ground game. Not a good mix for Kharitonov once Barnett took him down. Once the takedown occured, it was just a matter of time for Barnett. He worked some ground and pound, eventually got Kharitonov's back, flattened him out and quickly moved to a side choke to force the tapout.

Barnett will fight Daniel Cormier in the Grand Prix final in early 2012.


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