by MMAWeekly.com

Josh Barnett, ranked as the No

Barnett, ranked as the No.3 heavyweight mixed martial artist in the world by
MMAWeekly.com, had a very busy year in 2006. Fighting seven times in that span,
he amassed a 5-2 record against some of the top competition in the world.


in 2007, he has yet to fight once.




“Red tape,”
says Barnett.


He fought
all of his bouts in 2006 for Pride Fighting Championships. But when Pride FC
was purchased by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta – who also happen to be the
majority owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship – in March,
Barnett’s fighting career was basically put on ice.


To say his
relationship with the UFC is tenuous would not be a stretch.


While many
former Pride fighters have found their way to the UFC, Barnett is one of the
two top free agents that have not, along with Fedor Emelianenko.


He has been
talking with many promoters and is optimistic that he will be fighting again
soon, but Barnett would not tip his hand as to whether a fight with Fedor is on
the immediate horizon. Despite being friends with Emelianenko, he does want
that fight to take place.


“It would
be a hell of a fight. … I want to fight him is so we can get it over with, so
we can train (together).”


In the
meantime, Barnett has kept busy with many other projects. He is part of
numerous television productions including a documentary about the Pancrase
organization that is set to air on Imagination TV and appearances on the
acclaimed “The Human Weapon” series and a mixed martial arts segment on The
History Channel.


He has also
been helping Erik Paulson, who headlines Saturday night’s HDNet Fights in
Dallas, Texas, train for his bout with Jeff Ford.


Fights is the upstart MMA promotion of the billionaire owner of the NBA’s
Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban.


“(Erik) is
ready. He’s been working every day in the gym with us,” said Barnett.


And he
indicates that this probably isn’t a one-off deal for Paulson, who is returning
to fighting for the first time in more than seven years.


“Erik’s got
a lot of gas left in him.”


At only 29
years of age, it’s likely that Barnett himself will be around for a while as


Check out
MMAWeekly.com’s exclusive video interview with Josh Barnett and Bob Sapp from
the Playboy Mansion to hear more about Barnett’s thoughts on the fight game,
what’s been keeping him busy and his return to the ring.