UFC Adds Heavyweight Josh Barnett's Fighter Profile to Official Website
Update: Barnett has issued a statement about his recent addition to the UFC's official website, with the following note just recently posted to his Twitter feed.
Playing up the news for jokes, Barnett briefly teased a fake announcement that he had joined the UFC, later following up with the clarification that he was simply on their website.
Although it's not official, it seems that one of mixed martial arts' most legendary heavyweights is getting another shot in the sport's largest promotion.
Granted, this doesn't mean that Barnett has been signed by the company.
It could simply be for historical and database purposes, as "The Warmaster" had a past stint with the UFC, including over five fights from 2000 to 2002.
However, that stretch was marred by a positive test for three banned substances, which occurred shortly after Barnett defeated Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 36. As a result, Barnett was stripped of the belt, although he's still recognized as a former title-holder.
Should Barnett be in the UFC?
After being cut from the UFC following his drug test, Barnett also tested positive for steroids 10 days before a planned superfight with the legendary Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Trilogy. That effectively caused the entire card to be canceled, with much of the blame resting on Barnett's shoulders for failing his medicals.
That incident infamously ended Affliction's run as a regional MMA promotion, due to the cost of canceling the event.
But his past drug issues aside, Barnett has still managed to post a 32-6 MMA career record, with his most recent string of fights seeing him reach the finals in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix before losing to Daniel Cormier. Barnett's last fight at Strikeforce's final card ended in a one-sided victory over the unknown Nandor Guelmino.
If Barnett has indeed been signed by the UFC, he could be a very expensive addition to the company's roster. During the last round of payouts for the final Strikeforce card (via MMA Junkie), Barnett was reportedly paid a flat $250,000 disclosed salary.
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