Andrei Arlovski, Roy Nelson, Frank Mir, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Hunt. These are some of the names that Josh Barnett have taken out in his staggering 21 year stay in the world of combat sports. He even beat Randy Couture back at UFC 36 to become the UFC heavyweight champion. While he’s been out of MMA since 2016, he hasn’t been lazy. From television shows, inhabiting the body of a Viking, to pro wrestling inside and outside of the ring, Barnett isn’t lacking things to occupy his battle-sharpened mind. Although, he doesn’t rule out a return to the cage either.
“I’m not finished with it. I still have a lot within MMA that I want to do. There’s still a desire in me to go out and fight. I know that it is going to be a much smaller window for me in that there’s so many other things in my life. At the moment, I know the desire is there to compete, but the desire to structure my life around training camps and all that at the moment just isn’t there.”
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) January 4, 2018
“I’ll get out there and spar and work with people, so it’s not as if I don’t train or still enjoy training – because I do very much – but to make that commitment in every way that’s necessary to compete in MMA, not yet. But it is still open. […] I think 2017 was damn good for New Japan and AXS. Years are full of ups and downs, and as I look on it, I really feel like my year was full of more ups than downs overall. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the positive momentum coming out of 2017 will affect 2018.” — Josh Barnett speaking to MMA Weekly.
Last Summer on the Joe Rogan Experience, he was still dealing with USADA issues over a anti-doping violation allegedly caused by a tainted supplement. Who knows when he may come back and even if it would be for the UFC. Bellator is doing great new things with its heavyweight grand prix, which seems right up Josh Barnett’s alley. Go ahead and fire up his insanely long metal playlist while you imagine The Warmaster coming back to inflict pain. Until then, you can see him soon in a new grappling promotion with MMA living legend Kazushi Sakuraba.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/11/2018.