Strikeforce Live Blog: Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov Updates

CINCINNATI -- This is the Strikeforce live blog for Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov, a heavyweight bout on tonight's Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov event at the U.S. Bank Arena.

The winner of this Heavyweight Grand Prix bout will meet the winner of Antonio Silva-Daniel Cormier at a later date. Barnett (30-5) advanced to the semifinals with a win over Brett Rogers in June. Kharitonov (18-4) made it to the semifinals by knocking out Andrei Arlovski in February.

The live blog is below.


Round 1: Kharitonov goes right to work early, backing Barnett up with jabs and straights. Barnett slips a jab and lands a right, but Kharitonov stings him with a right hand that appears to wobble Barnett just a bit. Barnett has had enough of this stand-up stuff, so he shoots and stays after it and manages to put Kharitonov down, moving quickly into full mount with plenty of time to work. Barnett works some short strikes from the top as Kharitonov alternates between covering up and holding on. Kharitonov tries some punches from the bottom, but that only opens him up for Barnett, who unloads with a flurry that makes Kharitonov roll and give up his back. Barnett is riding high, looking for the choke. He gives it up and softens Kharitonov up with strikes. Kharitonov tries to roll to his back, but gets caught in an arm triangle choke. Barnett's got this one and he's not letting go. Kharitonov is forced to tap. That's two straight wins for Barnett with that same choke. He'll move on to face Daniel Cormier in the finals.

Josh Barnett def. Sergei Kharitonov via submission (arm triangle) at 4:28 of round one

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