Following every UFC and Strikeforce event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier, which took place on May 19 from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Daniel Cormier vs. Shane Carwin

Former Olympic medalist Daniel Cormier was in top form in Saturday’s Heavyweight Grand Prix Final, as he defeated veteran Josh Barnett by unanimous decision to win the tournament.

Cormier has now taken his game to another level, and has developed his striking to go along with his top-notch wrestling.

Since Strikeforce’s heavyweight division has been cleaned out, Cormier should go straight to the UFC, such as fellow Strikeforce fighters Fabricio Werdum and Lavar Johnson, to name a few.

A case can be made to put Cormier against the UFC heavyweight champion, but first he needs to defeat a top ten opponent before fighting for the UFC belt.

One name that comes to mind is Shane Carwin, who fought for the title at UFC 116. Recently, Carwin has been sidelined due to injury, but should be healthy in time to face Cormier.

The reason the timing will be right is because Cormier will also be out awhile, as he suffered a broken hand in his bout with Barnett.

Once the two are back in fighting condition, the UFC should match them up to set a big fight in the heavyweight division that will allow one to move closer to fighting for the crown.

Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy

Saturday’s co-main event could have easily been the feature bout as Gilbert Melendez defended his Strikeforce lightweight title against Josh Thomson for the third time.

The win for Melendez was difficult, as his opponent Thomson fought his heart out, but Melendez did just enough to earn a split decision.

Many things came away from this fight, with the main thought from many being that one of the best lightweights in the world was challenged in all five rounds. Melendez will still be considered one of the best in the world, but he will need to stay in Strikeforce for at least one more bout before he steps into the UFC Octagon.

The only logical opponent remaining on the Strikeforce lightweight roster is Pat Healy, who is on a four-fight winning streak.

Healy has been competing since 2001 and has squared off with many talented fighters. “Bam Bam” is also only 28 years old and has all the tools to hand Melendez his first loss since 2008.

If Melendez is able to defend his Strikeforce belt one more time, he’ll be given an opponent from the UFC to prove he is one of the best 155-pound fighters in the mixed martial arts world.

Rafael Cavalcante vs. Gegard Mousasi

In the light heavyweight division, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante submitted Mike Kyle in just 33 seconds to get one step closer to recapturing his belt.

But since the title isn’t currently held by anyone, a bout will be held soon to determine a champion.

“Feijao’s” opponent should be Gegard Mousasi, who hasn’t lost since 2010. Both men are veterans of the sport, and would put on a great fight to determine the new 205-pound champion.

Any hardcore fan of MMA knows who Cavalcante and Mousasi are, and that bout could easily headline an event.

Expect this match-up to be made in the near future, but since Strikeforce doesn’t hold many events throughout the year, it probably won’t be until this fall.

Chris Spang vs. Quinn Mulhern

Welterweights opened up the main card in spectacular fashion, as Chris Spang put away Nah-Shon Burrell in the first round by TKO.

Earlier in the night on the preliminary card, Quinn Mulhern defeated Yuri Villefort by split decision.

It makes perfect sense to match the two up, as both 170-pound fighters were victorious on Saturday.

Mulhern has been on a roll lately, while Spang is looking to become a force in the division. With another win for either man, they could make a huge statement to the rest of the welterweight roster.

Photo: Cormier (L) connects with a right hand against Barnett (Laron Zaugg/MMA Weekly)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.