When life-long professional wrestling fan Josh Barnett’s first stint in the UFC came to an end in 2002 he signed up to New Japan Pro-Wrestling, competing in over 50 matches for the organization over a two-year period, while also still fighting in MMA.
For a few years after that Barnett focused solely on his successful run in PRIDE, but when that legendary MMA promotion came to an end he returned to pro-wrestling via the Inoke Genome Foundation promotion.
Barnett would be a headliner in the IGF ring during his seven-year sint there, and as well as going up against major Japanese wrestling stars, he’d often be pitted against other MMA stars, including the likes of Ken Shamrock, Don Frye, Bob Sapp, Tim Sylvia and Tank Abbott.
After re-signing for the UFC in 2013, Barnett took a hiatus from competing in wrestling, though from 2015 onwards he began providing color commentary for NJPW on AXS TV.
In 2017 made a comeback, including finally breaking into the U.S. market by competing against Bobby Lashley for the TNA heavyweight title, while he’s also returned to IGF as well.