After recently having his USADA suspension reprimanded, former UFC heavyweight champ, Josh Barnett is now moving on from the organization.
MMAJunkie’s Steven Marrocco is reporting that Barnett has been released from the UFC making him free to explore other options.
Now at age 40 and having not fought since September 2016, who knows what could be next for the once youngest champion in UFC history.
Barnett made his UFC debut in 2000 and went 4-1 with the company and earning a world title with a win over Randy Couture before he left for Pride FC. Barnett had a successful run in the Japan-based organization as he only lost to the likes of the legends, Mirko Cro Cop and Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira.
‘The Warmaster’ would fight in various promotions after that including Strikeforce where he only suffered defeat to current UFC light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier.
It was after this that Barnett would find his way back into the UFC as Strikeforce would be bought out by the formerly Zuffa owned powerhouse.
Going 3-2 in his second and likely final stint in the UFC, Barnett capped things off with a submission win over a fellow former champion in Andrei Arlovski. The win makes him the only man to have ever submitted the Belarussian.
Barnett still has his interest in competing in the cage and the obvious choice for his likely landing spot is Bellator.
Bellator’s president, Scott Coker, and Josh Barnett are familiar with each other from the Strikeforce days where Coker was also the man in charge.
Currently in the middle of their heavyweight Grand Prix tournament, it would be a bit silly to think that Bellator wouldn’t like to have someone of Barnett’s caliber contesting for an alternate spot. We’ll just have to wait and see how things shake out.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/20/2018.