Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier advanced to the finals of Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix with first-round wins at Saturday’s “Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals” event in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Barnett forced Sergei Kharitonov to tap to an arm triangle with 32-seconds left in the opening round, while Cormier remained unbeaten with a first-round knockout of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.

In the Strikeforce middleweight title fight, Luke Rockhold upset champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a close unanimous decision following an exciting five-round battle.

Also on the main card, “King” Mo Lawal returned with a first-round KO of Roger Gracie and Pat Healy came back to submit Strikeforce newcomer Maximo Blanco.

The preliminary card included wins by Mike Kyle over Marcos Rogerio de Lima, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante over Yoel Romero, Jordan Mein over Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, and Alexis Davis over Amanda Nunes.

The complete Strikeforce results were:

MAIN CARD (Showtime)

Josh Barnett def. Sergei Kharitonov via submission (arm triangle) – Round 1, 4:28
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinal
Daniel Cormier def. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva via KO (punches) – Round 1, 3:56
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinal
Luke Rockhold def. champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza via unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47)
Strikeforce Middleweight Championship
“King” Mo Lawal def. Roger Gracie via KO (punches) – Round 1, 4:33
Pat Healy def. Maximo Blanco via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 2, 4:24

Mike Kyle def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante def. Yoel Romero via KO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:51
Jordan Mein def. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:18
Alexis Davis def. Amanda Nunes via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:53
Dominique Steele def. Chris Mierzwiak via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)

11 September, 2011