Barnett, Cormier cruise into GP final

So we know the end of this snake-bit Strikeforce heavyweight GP tournament is nigh. And we know that Josh Barnett, as expected, advanced out of his side of the tournament. We also know that upstart Daniel Cormier has the biggest opportunity of his career in front of him after stepping up on late notice to destroy the man who put a whooping on Fedor Emelianenko just a few months earlier.

Even if the grand prix no longer maintains the importance we were promised it would -- bye-bye, lineal heavyweight champion consideration, due to the departure of Alistair Overeem to UFC -- Barnett versus Cormier brings with it many intriguing storylines. Can Cormier, who started as a 30-1 underdog as part of the betting field, actually pull this off? He's athletic and competitive, sure, but Barnett is so crafty and dangerous that Cormier's lack of experience could prove to be a serious factor in winning or losing.

Though it's not the mega event many thought it would be, the Strikeforce grand prix -- I'm talking the action plus the politics that surround such an ambitious undertaking -- has an opportunity of its own. A war between Barnett and Cormier would solve a lot in terms of what should be expected of these fighters.

There will be more than enough time to analyze the tournament finals, which is likely heading to an early 2012 date.

So for now, it's best if we concentrate on the fights that actually took place. Did Luke Rockhold do enough to take the Strikeforce middleweight title from Ronaldo Souza? According to the judges, yes, including one official who had it five rounds to none for the Californian.

From top marks for the tournament's finalists to well below-average work from their opponents, Strikeforce from Cincinnati should be remembered fondly by fans, even if very few of them showed up to watch in the Queen City.

Josh Gross covers MMA for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at JoshGrossESPN.