Heavyweight Josh Barnett may be one of the top fighters in the division but he’s also a free agent without a guaranteed spot on the UFC’s roster. Despite his in-ring success, Barnett butted heads with Zuffa brass during a run in the organization a decade ago and has drawn criticism from UFC President Dana White a few times based on a past pair of positive drug tests.
However, in a “never say never” business like MMA, it stands to reason the opposing sides may be able to iron their differences out for the greater good of the sport (and financial gain). Then again, even if they aren’t, Barnett has no qualms about competing under a different company’s banner.
“I just want to keep killing and keep willing, keep wading in pools of blood and guts until there’s nobody left to kill anymore,” said Barnett in an interview with MMAFighting moments after his submission of Nandor Guelmino on Saturday night at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine. “I’m a mercenary. Something will come up. Someone will need somebody’s head taken off and they’ll call me, they’ll pay me enough, I’ll show up, and I’ll do my job.”
Of course, while Barnett is open to fighting in Bellator, ONE FC, or elsewhere, it appears “The Warmaster” would still prefer the possibility of calling the Octagon home as long as he doesn’t have to compromise his values to make it a reality.
“I want to fight and the UFC has a fantastic lineup of people that I can go out there and compete against. And it’s got a huge market share – it has ALL the market share,” explained Barnett. “But I’m not here to kowtow to anybody. I don’t serve anyone. I serve no master at all.”
Barnett’s victory improved his overall record to 32-6 and involved the 27th finish of his career.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE