Josh Barnett Never Considered UFC, Strikeforce Has More Established Heavyweights

Written by Tom Ngo
September 17th, 2010

Strikeforce Heavyweight Josh Barnett UFC Sengoku

Newly-inked Strikeforce heavyweight Josh Barnett has been a free agent since single-handedly taking down Affliction Entertainment back in July 2009. While much of his freelance status had to do with trying to secure the appropriate deal, the risk of bringing on the talented – yet controversial – fighter played a factor as well.

Thankfully, the San Jose, California based promotion rolled the dice on bringing Barnett back to the States because he never even talked to Octagon brass.

“They stepped up to the plate and I dealt with them as such. That’s really what it comes down to,” Barnett told The MMA Hour. “The UFC, I think they’re not really in a spot where they need to acquire anybody. It’s probably better for them to just take a newbie and make him look great than to actually have to deal with great fighters.”

Even if he and UFC president Dana White managed to mend fences, Barnett believes his new place of business houses more established 265-pounders regardless. While Strikeforce may not possess the glitz and glamor that Octagon shows offer, the 32-year-old would be willing to compare resumes at anytime.

“I’d say it’s a pretty super, incredible division, honestly,” Barnett said. “If you take our top four or five [heavyweights] against the top four or five in the UFC, hell, we have more wins than they even have fights.”

When asked what his hit list looked like, or who he would prefer to make his Strikeforce debut against, the 13-year veteran remained coy on the subject.

“My goal is to be the absolute best in the world and to beat everybody who walks this earth,” Barnett said in closing. “And you know what? There’s a lot of people out there.”

Champion Alistair Overeem, former/current top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, upset specialist Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva – just to name a few.

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