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Josh Barnett signs multi-fight deal with Strikeforce

PRESS RELEASE / NEW YORK (Sept. 13, 2010) – Two-time champion and top world-ranked heavyweight superstar Josh “The Babyfaced Assassin” Barnett has signed a multi-fight agreement to compete for Strikeforce.

“Strikeforce is the home of the best heavyweight division in the world and I’m proud to be able to call it my home now,” said the 32-year-old Barnett (29-5), an expert in catch wrestling who hails from Seattle, Wash.

“I’m looking forward to competing amongst the greatest fighters in the world and fighting my way to another world title.”

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Barnett became the youngest UFC champion in history at age 24 when he scored a second-round TKO (4:35) on Randy “The Natural” Couture in Las Vegas, Nev., on March 22, 2002. In his sixth career fight, Barnett submitted wrestling and MMA legend Dan “The Beast” Severn with an armbar in the fourth round (1:21) in Hawaii.

In addition to his achievements in America, Barnett has spent a good portion of his career competing in top tier promotions overseas, including the now defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships in Japan where he notched memorable victories over the likes of Aleksander Emelianenko, Mark Hunt and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. On Oct. 21, 2006, Barnett took part in PRIDE’s first event on U.S. soil, submitting Pawel Nastula with a toe hold in the second round (3:04) at Las Vegas’s Thomas & Mack Center.

In 2008, Barnett competed in another Japanese promotion, Sengoku. After submitting (heel hook) Hidehiko Yoshida in Tokyo on March 5, 2008, Barnett returned to action on May 18, 2008, and earned a unanimous decision over top-ranked rival and fellow American Jeff “The Snowman” Monson.

Barnett signed an agreement to compete in Japan’s DREAM promotion earlier this year. Last March 22, he made his debut with the organization, submitting former K-1 tournament champion and devastating power puncher, “Mighty Mo” Siligia, with a kimura at 4:41 of the first round.

On July 10, Barnett followed up the strong showing with a first-round TKO (punches) over Geronimo dos Santos in the main event of a fight card in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

  • qat says:

    he was/is a talented fighter, but his abuse of steroids will always darken his accomplishments.

    im not gonna lie, im a bit conflicted here myself. on one hand, i wanna see him fight the good hws sf or the ufc has to offer (clean of course..), on the other hand i wanna see him banned for a long time.. its not a good example to the athletes if not even barnett gets more than a little clap on the fingers for his multiple proven wrongdoings.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I guess as long as the good out weighs the bad… but does it??

    Regardless they needed more depth in the HW division, see how this pans out… maybe they’ll just have him fight in Houston ( no mandatory drug test ) Just to play it safe.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Maybe we’ll finally get to see the Barnett v. Fedor fight that was supposed to headline on the last Affliction card. It’s not quite as compelling now that Fedor lost to Werdum, but it could still be a great fight, and one that fans of Pride would love to see. I’m still interested even after the Werdum loss and Barnett’s most recent steroid bust.

  • Cool….I still think we’re owed him Vs. Fedor. I’d much rather see that then Fedor vs. Silva. I had to chuckle a little bit about that whole SF has the best HW division in the world….they’ve got a few great ones, but as a division in total, they have 3 greats(minus Barnett) and a few good prospect.

  • Dufresne says:

    I love these press releases.

    They completely ignore the fact that Barnett has tested positive for PEDs for at least 4 times.

    The problem I have with Barnett is that he’s been busted over such a long time period that I have to wonder if he is an average or good fighter that PEDs made great, or if he was already a great fighter that felt he needed them to gain that extra edge.

    I want Barnett to do well, and I want him to test clean in all future fights, but until he does test clean on a regular basis I’m going to have my suspicions.

  • Dufresne says:

    On a brighter side, they also didn’t talk about what Barnett did post-fight with Mighty Mo which wikipedia describes as “During the fight, he accidentally kicked Mighty Mo in the groin so immediately after winning the fight, Barnett approached Mighty Mo apologizing for the illegal strike and in return allowed Mighty Mo to knee him in the groin.”

  • Angry Mike says:

    Hilarious, but maybe not the show of sportsmanship it appears to be. After years of steroid use, don’t the cajones atrophy? For Barnett it might not have been the sacrifice it would be for other fighters.

  • Dufresne says:

    lmao @ Angry Mike.

    Touché good sir.

  • elkymbo says:

    I dunno about you lot but the mere mention of a knee to the groin, especially from the likes of Mighty Mo, brings tears to my eyes. Your balls could be up in your throat but that shit would still fuggin hurt.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Big Foot
    Del Rosario

    With cross and co promotion opening the door to having Bellator, Dream, WVR and M1 fighters such as Monson, Sylvia, Duffee and co vs

    Dos Santos

    and no possibility whatsoever of any non UFC fighter fighting them = a draw in my opinion. Just my opinion.
    I love the way Barnett fails a test and a retest twice and “people” say he tested positive 4 times. No he failed the drug tests twice, it is not like got caught 4 times and you know it.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    supposed to read ‘… and fighters such as Monson …”

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Sorry I see he was found to have PEDs in him in 2001 in an informal survey too. He has only failed official testing 2 times.

  • YetiLee says:

    I hope Strikeforce keeps him and Overeem apart from one another, we don’t need them exchanging “training” techniques. If you know what I mean.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    good news, love watching him fight

  • boomnutz says:

    what a joke! the best HW division in the world??? you got to be fucking kidding me. Their fighters suck, obviously Fedor is Fedor, but apart from him, you have nothing. And he doesn’t fight, Barnett’s going to walk in and be the second or third best fighter, too bad SF sucks at putting fights together, when they do happen they don’t make sense. Not to mention, most of the guys in the UFC would tear through these guys anyway, and YES i believe the UFC has a few guys that could beat Fedor, the new breed of gigantic wrestlers would be too much for him.

  • Dufresne says:

    I love the way Barnett fails a test and a retest twice and “people” say he tested positive 4 times. No he failed the drug tests twice, it is not like got caught 4 times and you know it.

    Sorry I see he was found to have PEDs in him in 2001 in an informal survey too. He has only failed official testing 2 times.

    I never said he tested positive after fights 4 times, I said he tested positive 4 times.
    Not trying to pick an argument, but a positive PED test is a positive PED test regardless of whether it was before, after, or during a fight. And yes, I’m including retests because they are called re-test.

    And I hate to tell you this, but he’s failed 3 separate PED tests, not counting the retests: His latest test just before the Fedor fight that helped take down Affliction; UFC 36 after winning the title from Couture; And the one that went without “official” reporting, but led to regular testing in Nevada, UFC 34 after he beat Bobby Hoffman.

  • mu_shin says:

    While Barnett’s history with performance enhancers cannot be overlooked, neither can you overlook that this guy is a world class ground fighter. He’s a big strong grappler/wrestler with a lot of experience and wins against some good competition. As long as he can keep his nose clean in terms of banned substances, I can’t see how his presence does not improve Strikeforce’s heavyweight profile.

    It could be argued that without the artificial boost Barnett might not have been as competitive in some of his past matches as he was, but having seen him fight in some of the old Pride re-runs, I think his technique is solid, his demeanor in the ring is focused and he goes after his opponents with a wrestler’s determination to overcome and submit. I think he could defeat Bigfoot Silva and Brett Rogers pretty easily, which leaves Werdum, Overeem, and you know who…


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