Heavyweight Josh Barnett is one of the division’s top fighters, owning wins over a number of ranked opponents while finding consistent success in the ring for more than a decade. Still, regardless of his accomplishments, Barnett hasn’t received more than a sniff from the world’s foremost MMA promotion in years based on some personal issues with UFC President Dana White.
With Barnett’s present professional home in jeopardy, the Strikeforce fighter understands he could be stuck seeking employment outside of the Octagon when his contract expires in January. However, the 35-year old grappler remains fairly sure the UFC will let bygones be bygones and bring him on board out of an interest in putting together the best roster possible.
“I think it’s pretty likely. I think it’s a good fit for a person like me,” said Barnett to The MMA Hour. “I mean, unless you don’t want me to go in there and beat all those dudes up and completely throw your rankings out of whack, and change the whole perception of who the best heavyweights in the world are. Now if you don’t want that, then yeah, definitely don’t bring me over. But if you just want to have the biggest and best collection of heavyweights in the world, then you’ve got to have me there.”
As much faith as Barnett has in the UFC to do the right thing, and as much as he wants to test himself against the sport’s best, “The Warmaster” also realizes there’s always the possibility he’ll be forced to explore other options.
“I want to go where the opportunity is best. And I like the idea of that full roster over there being at my disposal to be disposed of,” explained Barnett of his interest in signing with the UFC, also adding, “I’m sure that my management and everybody will work it out to wherever fits best, that’s where I’ll be.”
The 31-6 Barnett’s final fight under the Strikeforce banner is set for January 12 when he’ll face Nandor Guelmino in what is expected to be the organization’s last event before closing up shop.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE