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Josh Barnett Would Have Fought Junior Dos Santos If He Signed with the UFC

Jan 12, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Josh Barnett  enters the ring in his bout with Nandor Guelmino (not shown) in their Strikeforce MMA Heavyweight bout at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Damon MartinContributor IFebruary 16, 2013

There is a laundry list of fights that the UFC has theorized about that never actually came together, but rarely does the world hear about them.

On Saturday night following the UFC on Fuel 7 fight card, Dana White spoke with the media about a number of subjects, but one of them happened to be the potential fight they had lined up for former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett if he signed with the promotion.

Barnett was in negotiations with the UFC following the final fight on his Strikeforce contract that expired in January, but unfortunately a deal could not be struck in time and the two sides parted ways.

White revealed that if Barnett signed the deal he would have been matched up with former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 160 for his first fight back in the Octagon since leaving the promotion in 2002.

Once Barnett was out of the picture, the UFC moved instead to match up Dos Santos with former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, and now those two will meet at UFC 160 in May.

There has been no hard feelings between White and Barnett even though a deal could not be completed, and that continued on Saturday night.  White says he has no doubt that Barnett would have taken the fight with Dos Santos without a problem, but he's free to fight for the UFC or any organization he chooses.

"I'm sure Josh Barnett wouldn't care (who he fought)," White said to Bleacher Report.  "Josh Barnett is a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy, he does his own thing, beats to his own f—king drum.  Josh Barnett's never been a guy to say I don't want to fight this guy or I won't fight that guy.  He's not that type of person."

Unfortunately, the Barnett vs. Dos Santos fight remains a fantasy for now because the deal didn't get done and now an entirely new bout has been made instead.

The door still appears open for Barnett to sign with the UFC at some point down the road if he chooses, but right now his management team continues to negotiate and look for the best possible home to land the services of "The Warmaster."

Damon Martin is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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