Josh Barnett snubs UFC contract offer


Multi-time MMA champion Josh Barnett will not fight in the UFC. At least for now.

According to Barnett’s manager, The Warmaster was unable to reach terms with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and will not make his long-awaited return to the promotion.

“We agreed on guaranteed compensation,” LaBarre said. “In fact, we never even countered. We accepted their original offer. However, there are some outlying issues — one in particular — that as of this point we were unable to agree on.” –

Those “outlying issues” could well be Barnett’s professional wrestling aspirations. UFC demands exclusivity from its fighters, which often becomes a heavy roadblock in contract negotiations. Man top fighters, such as Alistair Overeem with K-1 and Fedor Emelianenko with SAMBO, had to make a career defining decision whether they fully commit to the Ultimate Fighting Championship or fight somewhere-elsewhere.

Barnett is 4-1 in the UFC, losing only to Pedro Rizzo (UFC 30) via KO. The Baby-Faced Assassin was stripped off his UFC Heavyweight title after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, which also finalized the first, and most likely the last episode of his career with the UFC.

Josh Barnett is currently 32-6 in MMA.

  • barnett is such an idiot. forget your greed and your dumb wrestling you are not gonna get the exposure and sponsors anywhere like you will in the UFC & i kno for a fact they offered him a contract of atleast 100k to show.

    • How many times you think he's going to fight a year? You don't think he has a family he has to care for? Forget the greed? When your putting your health on the line, busting your ass in the gym, injuries can come out of nowhere….and your telling him to forget the greed? The most he'll fight is 3 times a year and make 300k from base salary alone (assuming he gains no bonuses). Barnett should fight to get what he wants.

      • 300K a year sounds good to me. How much do you need to make for a welcome back contract.

      • when i say atleast it means bare minimum, realistically he will probably be getting 200k to show. and as for the greed, other organization might be offering more up front but the bonuses, exposure and sponsers you will get in the ufc will quickly surpass anything else he is offered

        • I knew Dana would bring him in, but didn't know Barnett would refuse. Of course we all know Dana far better than Josh.

    • wrestling is dumb but pays more than the ufc is trying to offer him. What would be dumber would be signing a contract that prevents you from generating income elsewhere, when Dana White has been public about his dislike for him. Dana called Josh a selfish juicehead and talked trash about Josh's girlfriend/manager, made some pretty harsh/offensive comments. Josh responded by reminding people that Dana used to be a boxercise instructor (which Dana couldn't refute) . Josh could fight his ass off for the UFC and Dana might exact revenge by giving him zero bonus money. You never give a former enemy that much power.

    • Why is he an idiot, the man loves doing pro wrestling in Japan and if that will make him happier he's smart for turning down a UFC offer. Enson Inoue on Rogan's Podcast even described Barnett more as a Pro Wrestler who happens to be really good at fighting and not the other way around. With Barnett I truly doubt it's about the money, sucks for us fans cuz I'd love to see him fight a Mir or Werdum but how can we say if it is or isn't the best decision for him?

    • Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  • "one outlying issue we cant agree upon" = we will accept your offer if you promise not to test barnett for anabolic steroids again

  • Working off the assumption that Bellator would offer Barnett the same type of deal / flexibility they gave King Mo and given the fact that he would be a bigger fish in Bellator than he would be in The UFC HWD and factor in his age, injuries, desire to earn, as well as his professional wrestling opportunities, one can understand why JB might opt to go with the "Junior" promotion. Simply put, he can have his cake-and-eat-it-too, so why not?

    The soft under-belly of The UFC is money and if Bellator can start getting close in terms of base salary and flexibility, they will start becoming more-and-more, a viable option for decent, name-brand fighters. Put enough of those together, along with as-of-yet undiscovered talent, particularly talent which you can hold on to (hence the importance of the Alvarez law suit(s) to Bellator) and you've got serious competition for The UFC.

    Summing it up, Barnett turning down The UFC, something which fighters just don't do, is just another bit of bad news, in a week of bad news stories, for The UFC. In the MMA Wars, this week goes to Bellator.

  • UFC have every right to demand exclusivity providing they compensate Barnett for his exclusivity.

    • True, but at the same time, josh barnett has the right to turn down the contract because of the exclusivity, no matter the compensation.

      • And that's why no one is wrong here. Barnett didn't "snub" the UFC, they just couldn't come to terms. Situations like this (or Fedor) makes you wish Dana could have just a little flexibility like say no pro-wrestling when you have a fight scheduled or 15 weeks out from a fight etc… but Dana running the UFC like this is the reason most of us our mma fans whether we want to admit or not (cue the douchebag who brags about following mma before it was cool lol)

    • @ Enjoy

      Any good lawyer would say to you…define exclusivity and compensation.

  • suprise suprise wrestling will pay him more and encourage the roids..

    • I wish I could take them, but for now I'll just have to keep amazing the women with the size of my……………intellect. 8P

      • It's not how big it is—it's how well you use it.

        ' )