Although earlier this year Josh Barnett turned down a contract offer from the UFC, which let’s face it, was an offer not too many people saw coming a couple of years ago, the “Warmaster” is still hoping to make his Octagon return.
While appearing on MMA Fighting.com’s MMA Hour program this week, Barnett told host Ariel Helwani that “I would love to fight in the UFC next.” Nothing unclear about that. Where things do get mirky, however, is what exactly is the key issue that has prevented the deal from materializing. Barnett once again didn’t want to comment on said issue, but added it is a “simple thing in my mind.”
Barnett also relayed that he was closer to signing with the UFC than Bellator, who also reportedly, and not surprisingly, offered him a deal. Oh, and when asked if he may be interested in fighting Frank Mir, whose name has been cited by fans as a possible opponent, Barnett stated:
“I’d have absolutely no issue fighting him in any way, shape, or form. I think it would be something that would get people excited, but I’ll be honest. If I’m just being humble, I think I get people excited anyway.”
Sounds like Barnett and Tim Sylvia have lots in common. There’s little doubt that Barnett would add plenty of excitement to the UFC heavyweight division, even if a title run at this stage of his career seems like a stretch. The 35 year-old vet remains an elite heavyweight and can promote a bout like few others.
Stay tuned to MMA Frenzy.com for any development related to Barnett and the UFC.