Josh Barnett Could Be Headed Back to UFC Soon

January 25, 2013
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It’s been more than a decade since Josh Barnett last stepped foot in the UFC Octagon, but that stretch may finally be coming to an end.

The former UFC heavyweight champion has definitely had his ups and downs with his former employer over the years, but there’s no denying his charisma, appeal and skill inside the cage.

Barnett has gone 9-1 over his last 10 fights with his only loss coming to current top ranked heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier. The rest of his resume speaks for itself as well.

That’s why Barnett will likely find himself back in the UFC fold after there was a lot of discussion about whether he would return or not after Strikeforce folded earlier this month.

“He has not (signed), we’ll see what happens,” UFC president Dana White said about Barnett on Thursday. “I think we will (sign him), we’ll see how it goes.”

Barnett brings with him a unique skill set for the heavyweight division, as well as the gift of gab any time a microphone is in front of his face. A former pro wrestler as well, Barnett is not only a gifted athlete, but also understands the entertainment aspect of MMA.

He would be a welcome addition to the UFC heavyweight roster, and could inject new life into a series of possible match-ups in the future.

No deal is done yet, but White seems optimistic that they can come to an agreement with Barnett and welcome him back into the UFC fold.

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  • JuZZ

    JDS vs. Barnett would be awesome as soon as Barnett signs with UFC. Right-level opponent for JDS after loss to Cain IMO

    • b-soc

      Agreed. He’s marketable and still top level. Put him in the big fights.

    • dick niaz

      sounds good to me

    • bmc92

      ya thats the perfect fight! id also like to see mir v barnett

  • dick niaz

    they should keep him away from the mic after his fights. His pro wrestling schtick is sooooo corny.

    but he will bring very interesting match ups. I have wanted to see him vs Mir for years

    • kingkongbundy

      Yeah, his schtick is kinda annoying. I never saw him as a great pro wrestler. We have enough characters in the UFC. We got Mir the bigmouth. We got Cain the silent. We got Chael the pro-wrestler. We got Rampage the black thug.

      There is a reason why the UFC has not yet signed Barnett. It may be that he is difficult to work with given his past roid incidents and his relationship with Dana. But most likely it is because that he is too expensive.

  • Sir_Roy

    The HW division needs more top level competition. Feels a little thinned out. Barnette needs to be signed IMHO.

    • Oswald Cobblepott

      UFC heavyweight division has never been stronger. I’m not sur Barnett adds anything at this stage of his career.

      • kingkongbundy

        That could be said about everyone except for the top three.

        Carwin? Why do we need this guy when he can’t even fight due to injury?

        Mir? We have Werdum and Nelson and Carwin.

        Werdum? We have Mir and Nog.

        Nelson? Do we need a fat gatekeeper?

        Nog? We have Werdum and Mir.

        How about Barnett? Well we have Mir but he is not a catch wrestler.

      • Joey

        While I agree its stronger than its been in a while, theres still large gap between top 10 and middle of the pack.

        You have: JDS, Cain, Reem, Werdum, Big Nog, Mir, Nelson, Bigfoot, Cormier (who may move to 205) and I would include Barnett. Then you have your maybe top tier guys in Kongo, Struve and Travis Browne

        Then who? Mike Russow? God no. Maybe Todd Duffee? Or Gabriel Gonzaga or Ben Rothwell?

        Yeah I would say anyone that can hang with the top tier needs to be brought in ASAP as that is a pretty shallow division.

      • Sir_Roy

        The problem is, stating the UFC heavyweight division has never been stronger does not mean a heck of a lot when the last decade is looked at objectively. It’s been the weak link for as far back as I can remember insofar as depth of top tier talent is concerned.

        How many at the top truly pose a legitimate threat to Cain, for example. It’s not like Cain’s defended his title half a dozen times either (like GSP – who despite all his title defenses still has legitimate, and dangerous, challengers waiting for him in the WW division). Yet, already it looks grim when trying to find an exciting challenger for Cain after JDS. That’s all I’m intimating really.

    • Joey

      Agreed. He may never contend for the title but there could be some fun match ups for him.

      Would love to see a Mir/Barnett or even another fight with “Big Nog” would be a lot of fun. Plus the Heavyweight division may be at its most competitive state right now but the drop off from the top 10 to everyone else is pretty steep.

      As long as Barnett’s clean, I say bring him in.

  • Timothy Malone

    Barnett can be a contender in the UFC.

    Back in Pride he and Antonio Nogueira fought twice and each won a decision. Why not put them together again for a trilogy fight?

  • jeremy

    He’s going to get killed by the other UFC heavy weights. his stand up is crap and most UFC HW’s now days have very good stand up

    • Anthony Lopez

      You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • BART87574


  • octawhat

    Unfortunately, Barnett’s game hasn’t really evolved much since his Pride day’s so this, and his conditioning, may give him problems against the top tier talent.

    However, Barnett is a solid 2nd Tier heavyweight – he’ll be a good test for rising stars to get them into title contention. Josh will also give the UFC more heavyweight options for undercards.

    Hopefully he’ll be disciplined enough to lay off the juice.

  • Yannick Messaoud

    I want to see Barnett back in the UFC so bad i enjoy seeing this guy fight, i enjoy is interview he is the real deal.