Josh Barnett Just Wants to Fight; If the UFC Is Where He Ends Up, So Be It

January 11, 2013
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As Strikeforce’s final show approaches on Jan. 12, the list of fighters that will eventually transition to the UFC is still not set in stone.

One fighter in particular that is on everyone’s radar is former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, who fights Nandor Guelmino at the final Strikeforce show. No one knows, however, if he will make the move back to the Octagon, even with a victory.

Over the years, UFC president Dana White‘s relationship with Barnett hasn’t been the best, and as of last weekend he still wasn’t positive what the future held for the former champion once Strikeforce closed its doors on Jan. 13.

“I don’t know, we’ll find out soon though,” White answered when asked about Barnett.

For his part, Barnett isn’t stressing about a possible future in the UFC because he still has a test in front of him on Jan. 12. When it’s over, if the UFC is the best place for him to land then he’ll land there, and if not then there are plenty of places for him to go and crack a few heads.

“I’m here to fight, that’s what I do. The rest of it, I’m sure there’s always a spot for me around the world to go beat people up,” Barnett told MMAWeekly Radio.

“I think it’s great that they’re asking about it, all the folks that are buzzing around the internet and otherwise putting that out in the air, that’s fantastic. I am not thinking at all about the UFC or anything other than fighting right now. That is stuff that doesn’t matter until you’ve gone out there and won your fight.”

Barnett says after Jan. 12 is done and gone he’ll leave negotiations up to his management team, and if the UFC is the best place for him to go, then that’s where he will sign.

“At that point, I’m sure my management will do the best to put me in the place where I belong, if that is the best fit for me at the time,” Barnett said about the UFC.

Admittedly, Barnett knows there are a lot of challenges for him in the heavyweight division in the UFC, and he’s a guy who loves a good fight.

“I know there is a lot of good competition in the UFC, and I’d like to take them out and not to dinner,” said Barnett.

While Barnett’s focus remains on his upcoming fight, he does notice the amount of fans championing his cause to get back in the UFC. It doesn’t go unnoticed, but Barnett can only concern himself with what he can control and that’s being in the best shape possible and ready to fight at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine in Oklahoma City.

“When I get in the ring, I do it for me and me alone. I know the business aspect and what it means for the fan participation part of it, and I’m very appreciative of it, but I think the best way I can serve this entire system is to be the best possible me I can be, and to focus on being as sincere and brutal as possible,” said Barnett.

“Everything else will fall in line.”

Stay tuned to for up-to-the-minute Strikeforce news and fight coverage.

  • Oswald Cobblepott

    Barnett is no longer UFC quality talent!

    • Joey

      I have to disagree with you.

      He went to war with Cormier, who is ranked as the number 3 or 4 Heavyweight in the world. Not to mention before that fight he was riding an 8 fight winning streak.

      He is one of the more well rounded fighters in a very shallow heavyweight division plus he has the gift of the gab. He was giving Chael P Sonnen esque promos way back in the day.

      As long as hes clean, he would be a welcome addition in the UFC IMO.

    • Anthony Lopez

      Completely ridiculous statement based off of nothing at all.

    • Anthony Lopez

      And I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I just don’t see in the slightest how Barnett is not UFC quality talent. His only loss in a looong time is to Cormier, who is being hailed as a phenomen of sort. Barnett is a top 5 UFC heavyweight, easy.

      • El Gvapo

        I concur. There’s no argument otherwise.

  • Anthony Lopez

    Uh oh, Barnett’s not kissing Dana’s ass and saying “all I want is to fight in the UFC, that’s the only thing that matters.” Doesn’t look good for Josh, as ass kissers and trash talkers are the majority of the fighters Dana brings in and pushes

    • Joey

      I am about certain that if he wins on Strikeforce’s last card, he will get a fight in the UFC. Hes just to good and to experienced not to get another shot.

      Dana has 7-8 Eilte heavyweights. He can’t just keep having them fight each other. If Dana still has bad blood for Josh, throw him to the wolves and make a little money off him. Make him fight Dos Santos.

      Put the fight on a ppv card as the first or second fight so that if Josh tests positive to something it doesnt ruin an event. If he wins, you have a potential contender and if he loses (depending upon how badly), Dana can throw some verbal jabs and bash him then cut him.

      We call that win/win.


    why didn’t Josh fight against Cromier then?

    • Anthony Lopez

      What are you talking about? Their last fight was against each other

    • El Gvapo

      Eh? He did fight Cormier, and a good fight it was too.

  • Barnett vs Mir, I want to see. Or even, Nelson, Struve, Brown, Big foot, Werdum and the list goes on.

  • b-soc

    Josh is a talker. Dana and him have a jaded history that everyone knows about. He’s not begging and Dana is not begging. People are interested. Listen, after Chael got the title shot against Jon after curling into a ball and getting bashed by Anderson Silva, and Diaz got the shot after a loss and a year suspension for smoking weed, as far as I’m concerned, all the rules went out the window. Its not about being a competitor. If he loses constantly, but is exciting and keeps talking, he’ll fight in the UFC till he retires. The UFC learned a lot of lessons from Chael and his WWE like approach to promotion.

  • Mike Little

    Barnett VS Duffee