Josh Barnett Believes He’s the Best Heavyweight in the World, Ready to Prove It

May 10, 2012
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Josh Barnett StrikeforceWhen the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix started many people believed it was a collection of eight of the greatest big men ever assembled into one tournament.

With names like Alistair Overeem, Fedor Emelianenko, Fabricio Werdum, and Josh Barnett all sitting in the brackets, it had the potential to be one of the best tournaments of all time.

That was until a few upsets happened, including former pound-for-pound king Fedor Emelianenko losing to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, then Alistair Overeem was removed from the tournament altogether, and who could have accounted for Strikeforce actually being purchased by Zuffa and all of the company’s heavyweights shifting over to the UFC?

That leaves Josh Barnett and finals opponent Daniel Cormier as the only heavyweights under the Strikeforce banner, and they will end the tournament on May 19 with the Grand Prix title up for grabs.

If there is more of a down side to this story, however, it’s the fact that while Barnett and Cormier are both cemented in the top ten of the heavyweight division, fighters they’ve defeated or fighters that didn’t even make it into the tournament are now flourishing in the UFC.

Lavar Johnson has gone 2-0 and just got the opportunity to fight on Fox. He wasn’t even included in the original Grand Prix line-up. Bigfoot Silva will face former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in the co-main event of UFC 146, while undefeated prospect Shane Del Rosario gets a main card slot on the same show.

Somehow lost in the shuffle are Barnett and Cormier, who by tournament standards were the top two heavyweights left in Strikeforce, and now the question they are asked most often is when will they end up in the UFC?

“It’s really unimportant. I think all the speculation is good for the people that enjoy the sport and they want to watch, and they want to be a part of that guessing game ‘what’s next,”‘ Barnett said about the UFC questions when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.

“You read a comic book and you’re always waiting for the next issue, but you’re always thinking about what happens if some of the X-Men end up fighting The Avengers, or if Iron Man left the team. That part is unavoidable.”

Has some of the luster of this great heavyweight fight been tarnished because of the perpetual UFC question looming around both Barnett and Cormier?

Well, for Barnett, he admits that the UFC question coming up constantly does get under his skin a little bit, but at the same time even he wants to know the answer.

Barnett is a former UFC heavyweight champion, and would love the chance to go over and face names like Junior dos Santos or Frank Mir.

“For me, it’s actually starting to become annoying, but I understand the reason to ask it because who wouldn’t want to fight in the UFC?” Barnett questioned.

“I’d love to go over there and beat everybody up and sit on top of that pile too. I believe I’m the best heavyweight out there in the world, so what better way to prove it than to punch everybody else in the face first.”

The first priority, however, before anymore UFC talk can happen, is Barnett needs to go out and put away former Olympian and undefeated heavyweight Daniel Cormier.

If that happens, Barnett could surely ride a big wave of momentum forward if he is headed to the UFC at some point in 2012.


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  • Lesnardo

    Dear Josh:

    I know you are ranked #3 in the world by many MMA websites mostly because you have been undefeated for many years. But don’t you think you have been undefeated because you’ve been fighting weak opponents?

    Since your loss to Big Nog, the biggest names you’ve fought are Yoshida (clearly a LHW) and Sergei Kharitonov, who is hot and cold.

    Pretty much Jeronimo Santos, Mighty Mo, Gilbert Ivel, and Pedro Rizzo are 3rd rate fighters.

    Before you can say that you are in the top 5, you need to come to the UFC and beat Frank Mir. I think that match will be very even. JDS and Overoid would rape you.

    Sorry Josh.

    • KBEsq

      If I remember correctly, I usually agree with most everything you say, and I agree with a lot of this, but not all of it. I think there is a bit of a contradiction in telling Barnett to shut up, AND say that he should be in the UFC to substantiate what he says. I honestly think that’s WHY he’s saying these things – to get into the UFC. I think you can attribute Barnett’s sayings to WWE style hyperbole so he can get people talking about him. Seriously, how else can he do it [get into the UFC]??? The only other thing you could say is to beat all his competition, and fight the best guys he can. Well, he’s done all that. He has to start talkin’.

      Save the steroids incidents (which I agree suck)Barnett has a pretty impressive record. I know you qualified your post by saying “after Nog,” but I don’t think you can ignore the stellar record he had before that. I mean, he really only lost to three guys. All three of those guys were legit, well respected fighters at the time, even if not now.

      • Lesnardo

        Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying Barnett is not UFC material.

        All I am saying is that he is on Frank Mir/Werdum level.

        The HW landscape has changed dramatically in the last few years. I personally don’t think Fedor/Crocop/Nog at their primes could beat JDS/Cain/Overeem.

        Again, Barnett would destroy Kongo/Fat Nelson/Rothwell and other bozos in the UFC. But against the best of the best, he is going to get beat.

  • Lesnardo

    “For me, it’s actually starting to become annoying, but I understand the reason to ask it because who wouldn’t want to fight in the UFC?”

    Who? You! You said the UFC should be doing your laundry!!! LOL!

  • adam1848

    I was gonna talk some smack about Barnett being washed up, but I just perused his resume again, and decided to bite my lip. Dude is a finisher. Only goes to decisions against really tough fighters and although he has certainly not fought the best guys in the world, his career as a whole is undeniably impressive. Plus he’s only 34, which is younger than I thought. I don’t think he’ll have a huge impact on the UFC, but he certainly deserves a shot.

    • KBEsq

      Yeah, that’s exactly what stops me from bashing him. Honestly, I don’t think there is a better HW record out there. He has a better win percentage than pretty much anyone, except maybe Fedor, but the level of competition he has faced is better than Fedor. Plus, he’s still winning.

      White hates Barnett, so it’s not like Barnett has a choice to face (as some people call them) 3rd rate competition. He’s fighting the best HW outside the UFC.

      • Lesnardo

        “but the level of competition he has faced is better than Fedor.”

        ARE YOU SERIOUS???

        Let’s name top 10 guys each fighter has fought:

        Barnett:
        Randy
        Rizzo
        Aleks
        Nog
        CroCop
        Sergei

        Fedor:
        Herring
        Nog
        CroCop
        Sylvia
        Arlovski
        Werdum

        How is the level of competition better??????

        • eternalism

          KBEsq sorry but you lost all credibility.

          Fedor has fought more and higher level, Fedor beat Crocop and Barnett failed to beat Crocop 3x Omfg! Fedor also fought Werdum who is arguably a top 10 maybe 5 HW right now!

          Bottom line Josh Barnett is a can crusher and so is Overeem but even he trumps Barnett.

          Fedor > Barnett for eternity lol

          • macgrubber

            Eternal werdum is only on your top 10 hw and not even close to 5. Gets embaresed by the reem and lays on his back the whole fight and then gets a win over roy nelson who is basically nothing and u put him in the top 5? i dont know how you rank but its wrong.

          • KBEsq

            I knew that comment was going to get this reaction. Even if I’m wrong about the level of competition between the two, it’s not SO far off to warrant this level of reaction.

            Wow, some fighters are just off limits.

        • macgrubber

          How is it better? look at your list bro. Everyone you posted under barnett is a stud. and for fedor: herring, sylvia, arlovski, and werdum were all released by the ufc and all horrible. Werdum is just starting to do ok but i dont consider a loss to the reem and a comeback win against roy nelson very good.

  • rsnowbass

    Lettttttttttts try not to busted for Roids again eh’ Barnett?

    • eternalism

      Exactly, another liability like Overeem for the UFC so they better prepare another good HW backup.

  • johnnybooker

    Anyone that hangs out with Boltthrower (been a fan since the late 80’s), references Marvel comic books in interviews and beats people’s asses for a living is tops in my book. Can’t wait to see him back in the UFC. But Cormier is a BEAST. Hoping Josh can get that takedown.

  • johnnybooker

    ‘Bolt Thrower

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001066818422 juliushodges

    I just hope Barnett is clean… If I remember correctly he was going to fight Fedor until he failed the drug test….I have read recently where he and Dana have squashed there old beef and get along. Dana is smart enough to know if he wins this Grand Prix he has to bring him over to fight his HW’s… Cormier is a lock win or lose he is young and has a long career ahead just wonder if he would fight Cain thouhg I think they are in the same camp

  • http://www.twitter.com/uncanny390 uncanny390

    If Barnett came to the UFC then he could win the title

    • Lesnardo

      No he can’t. He had a shot when Randy was the champ. But then EVERYONE could have beaten Randy “the paper champ” Couture (at LHW Randy was still good back then).

      Barnett doesn’t have a chance against the elite UFC fighters. I would bet against him should be fight Carwin or Lesnar.

      I think Barnett is on the same level as Werdum/Mir.

      • macgrubber

        you think that because you know nothing. Barnett beats carwin ez.

        • Lesnardo

          you think that because you know nothing.

          Barnett can’t beat carwin ez.

          In any case, beating carwin does not mean that you are the HW champ in the UFC. You need to beat Cain, then Overeem, then JDS.

          Carwin is a middle-of-the-pack guy these days.

  • http://www.twitter.com/uncanny390 uncanny390

    If Barnett came to the UFC then he could win the title. He is one of the most well-rounded fighters among the heavyweights

  • ryanstewart

    I gotta say, for the longest time I lost a lot of respect for Mr. Barnett, mostly due to his failed ped tests. I think if he keeps his nose clean, beats Daniel, then a return to the UFC is almost certain. and for Josh I hope he can stay on that path.

  • julianmoran

    I would like to see Barnett vs Mir. I think Barnett would win.
    also
    Barnett vs Werdum
    Barnett vs Nelson
    Barnett vs Big foot

    The only ufc HW I see causing problems for Barnett are Dos Santos and Overeem.

  • markrenton

    Barnett has always been a beast…by far one of the most well-rounded HW in MMA. If he can get past Cormier, which shouldnt be easy, I am really hoping they set up a fight with JDS. I feel like Barnett is the only HW big enough and talented enough to possibly get Dos Santos to the ground and make things interesting.

    • Lesnardo

      Agree that he is a good fighter.

      Do not agree that he is the ONLY HW BIG ENOUGH.

      Barnett was not a collegiate wrestler. The catch wrestling he does relies more on BJJ submissions.

      The pure wrestlers like Cain/Brock/Carwin have much better takedowns.

      So if Cain and Carwin couldn’t even get a hold of JDS, I am not sure sure that Barnett can grab JDS, take him down, AND hold him there.

      • markrenton

        Yeah, that was an overstatement…

        His wrestling is definitely not on the level of Cain and Carwin, but I do think Barnett would have better chances if it hit the ground.

        Either way, I dont see any HW beating JDS right now.

  • Cptmats

    Does any of it really matter ? Daniel Cormier is gonna put him to sleep in the first round and Barnett’s days will be numbered, while Cormier moves on to the UFC .

    • Lesnardo

      It doesn’t matter. But how can you be so sure that Cormier (a new fighter without a proven track record) can beat Barnett (a former champ with track record)?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000468891939 liemianbresenio

    Win or lose there are interesting fights for Barnett in the UFC. He’s a fan favorite and he knows how to sell a fight, which means good business. There’s no reason not to bring him over and regardless what uncle Dana may rant on Twitter, he can use him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003311915309 georgesperry

    Barnett and Overeem should fight for the ‘roid champ of the world.

  • omcclave

    I think Its a must win for him to come to the UFC. I know Dana hates the guy and like everyone says he is a huge liability due to his steroid addiction. I mean lets be real who really cares to see him. I think he so over rated to begin with. People think he can step to Frank Mir is a joke. Frank will kill him. Same goes for Cain and carwin and dos Santos. He would sit gate keeper statues like big country but wouldn’t be nearly as cool as him. Why would the ufc take a guy like that especially when the president hates him.

    • Lesnardo

      Dude, your writing sucks so much that I can’t make out exactly what you are saying.

      I think you are trying to say is that A) I never watched PRIDE, B) I never watched pre-zuffa UFC, C) I don’t know who this Barnett guy is.

  • MaritalArtist

    I checked out his record, and it appears josh is simply a slightly better version of Mir. I think if he beats Cormier, he should get either an immediate title shot, or at least a title contender shot, maybe against Cain.

    • Lesnardo

      So you didn’t know Barnett’s record? I mean, he was a badass in the UFC. Then he went to PRIDE and was the number 4 guy there for a few years.

      He has fought against good opponents, including Nog and Cro Cop at their primes.

      But in any case, Barnett should NOT get an immediate title shot. He needs to fight Mir/Nelson. Then fight Cain/Carwin. If he passes both tests, then he can get a title shot.

      Frankly, I just don’t see him beating Cain/Carwin, although I think he can beat Mir and for sure Fat Nelson. He would r@pe guys like Kongo or Schaub or Mitrione.

  • Ultimmadman

    Well, I feel sorry for most of the Strikeforce fighters. I assume all of them would wanna go to the UFC yet many of them are stuck.