Whether he likes it or not Josh Barnett has pretty much been MMA’s unofficial Heavyweight journeyman for over a decade now. The last time he fought in the UFC he became Heavyweight champion, winning over Randy Couture, but then quickly found himself beltless and unemployed after testing positive for steroids in 2002.
Since that point Barnett has fought for pretty much every single available and functioning fight organization with any sort of decent name value. Affliction, Strikeforce, Pride, he’s fought for them all, he’s even dabbled in Japanese Pro Wrestling from time to time, but the question still remains, will we be seeing Josh Barnett make the transition back to the UFC?
Although I think the more relevant question is, does the UFC want him back? This has remained a hot topic of MMA Heavyweight conversation ever since the purchase of Strikeforce by Zuffa. Josh Barnett is undeniably a perennial top ten heavyweight, which has fans constantly wondering if they’ll ever get to see him finally face off against a more worthy level of competition.
Based upon the former relationship between Josh Barnett and Dana White back in the early UFC days, it would be safe to say that Barnett’s potential inclusion in the current roster would look somewhat grim. But after officially deciding to dissolve Strikeforce and claiming that the majority of its top talent will be making the transition to the UFC, the future has never looked brighter for a Barnett/UFC reunion.
Pouring even more fuel on the fire was Dana White’s recent comments regarding the subject, which were made at UFC 158’s recent post press conference media scrum. When asked about Barnett’s inclusion in the UFC Dana seemed hesitant to answer but showcased somewhat of a desire to bring it to fruition after stating:
“It’s probably going to happen.”
White was pushed on the subject. Looking to clarify he remained vague but shared a notion that the situation may be a little more complicated than we realize:
“I don’t know. I mean, I know what’s going on but I can’t tell you yet, I don’t think.”
What do you think? Are you excited to see Barnett in the UFC? Let us know in the comments below.