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Josh Barnett: I'll Retire When It's My Time

Aug 31, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA;  Josh Barnett gets ready to fight during the UFC-164 bout at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2014

Like him or not, UFC heavyweight standout Josh Barnett remains one of the most popular names in the sport.

As an outspoken heavy metal barbarian nicknamed "The Warmaster," Barnett often attracts the masses. His ability to promote a fight and turn it into an absolute war is second to none.

But just like any aging fighter on the back end of their career, the 36-year-old doesn't have too much tread left on his tires.

However, leave it up to Barnett to say when enough is enough. During a recent edition of The MMA Hour (h/t to Dave Doyle of MMA Fighting), the 17-year journeyman discussed his future plans and eventual retirement:

I can't put a real number on it, because I won't know until that time comes. But I know that when it does, that's it, I'll have used up every aspect I have in terms of my athletic window. I can act, I can do other things, but once your athletic window is done there's no returning to fighting.

Fresh off a first-round defeat at the hands of Travis Browne, Barnett's window to capitalize on his athletic abilities may be closing quickly.

He may have made quick work of Frank Mir this past August, but the former UFC heavyweight champion hasn't beaten anybody of notoriety since finishing Gilbert Yvel and Pedro Rizzo back in his Affliction days.

In any case, Barnett is still a relevant name in the weight class and should play a major role as the division's top gatekeeper.

He expressed his eagerness to get back into the cage, per Doyle:

All fights interest me. Punching people in the face and watching them cry for their momma always interests me. ... I'm sure the opportunities will present themselves easily enough. There's plenty of heavyweights out there that could use a good ass kicking, and there's plenty who would like to see me do it.

Maybe the winner of Roy Nelson vs. Mark Hunt would suit Barnett well.

 

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