Josh Barnett Still a Free Agent but Actively Pursuing a New Fight Home

Damon MartinContributor IMarch 26, 2013

Jan 12, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Josh Barnett  celebrates his win over  Nandor Guelmino (not shown) in their Strikeforce MMA Heavyweight bout at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC heavyweight champion and Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix participant Josh Barnett is still seeking a new home after entering free agency earlier this year.

Following his final fight under the Strikeforce banner in January, Barnett began negotiations with the UFC and other promotions as they sought to land the popular heavyweight fighter.

Eventually negotiations with the UFC did not work out, and Barnett and his team began looking for other possible landing spots.

Barnett's manager Leland LaBarre spoke to Bleacher Report on Tuesday and confirmed that his fighter is still actively speaking to several organizations, but no deal has been struck as of now.

They are talking to numerous potential suitors who are all vying to sign Barnett, but no contract has been signed to put the former UFC champion back in action just yet.

According to LaBarre, a few different promotions have interest in Barnett, and they are working to land his next fight sometime this year. But like any negotiation, it's a lengthy process and the right deal has to be made.

Barnett is 9-1 in his last 10 fights with eight of those victories coming by way of knockout or submission. His lone loss came by unanimous decision to current UFC contender Daniel Cormier in the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.

A couple of the potential organizations that Barnett could eventually land with include the upstart young promotion World Series of Fighting, which just put on its second show last weekend in Atlantic City. World Series of Fighting has featured heavyweights on both of its cards, and Barnett would be a huge land for the promotion if it could sign him to an exclusive deal.

Another possible landing spot for Barnett is Bellator Fighting Championships. The Viacom-owned promotion will likely feature a heavyweight tournament later this year as part of its "summer series" on Spike TV. Without a doubt, if Barnett signed there, he would be the biggest addition that Bellator has ever had at that weight class.

Former heavyweight champion Cole Konrad retired last year, and if Bellator could land Barnett, he would be one of the most recognized and accomplished stars in the promotion without a single fight in the Bellator cage.

Whether or not Barnett lands with either promotion or another contender remains to be seen.

Barnett is still training currently, and according to his manager, he is in phenomenal condition as he awaits word on his next fight.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.