Heavyweight Josh Barnett is easily the best fighter in the division who doesn’t currently call the UFC home. Though Barnett came close to signing a deal shortly after Strikeforce folded, he ultimately turned the offer down in hopes of receiving one he felt was more reasonable. However, that’s not to say “The Warmaster” isn’t still hoping to ultimately return to the organization he held gold in a decade ago.
Barnett spoke to The MMA Hour about the matter, admitting his career would likely end with an asterisk unless taking his talents to the Octagon for a final run.
“I would love to fight in the UFC next,” said Barnett. “I’ve been a Top 10 fighter longer than anybody active in mixed martial arts at this time, and there’s a real good reason for that. To be in the UFC would mean to go back to where I already won the belt, to go back to where I was a champion at 24 years old, and try to cement my legacy as an MMA fighter. I don’t really feel I can create that legacy and finish on a high point unless I’m there.”
The 32-6 Barnett has finished 27 of the opponents he’s beaten and scored wins in nine of his last ten fights. Among his most notable victims are the likes of Sergei Kharitonov, Pedro Rizzo, Jeff Monson, Mark Hunt, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.