(Hell in the ring, silent on elevators.)
Any time two heavyweights with a history of testing positive get into a bi-lingual war of words, you can book us for a ringside seat. Such was the case this week when Josh Barnett and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva launched into the now nearly obligatory online fighter beef session. Silva got the ball rolling during an interview with Sherdog, wherein (apparently apropos of nothing) he lashed out at Barnett for – among other things – ignoring Brazilian fighters on elevators. So … that was weird.
If we had to guess, we’d say Bigfoot is feeling a little lonely and cranky after being kind of overlooked in all the hype, speculation and gratuitous match-up fantasizing that’s gone on since the UFC-Strikeforce merger. After all, Bigfoot became the latest dude to slay the unslayable Fedor Emelianenko back in February. You’d think that was worth something, right? And then pictures of Barnett exchanging bro-grabs with Dana White show up on the Internet? Why, that’d be enough to set any giant’s blood to a boilin’. His attacks, along with Barnett’s response are after the jump.
“I’ve been fighting since 2004 and have never had any issues with another athlete, even the most stuck-up,” Silva told the Dog. “Friendship, for me, is everything, but Josh is a weird guy, a guy who doesn’t greet you when you enter the elevator, doesn’t even say ‘good morning.’ It’s how he treats Brazilian fighters especially. It’s the same thing with (Barnett and) Werdum …
“But when (Barnett) sees Fedor, Dana White or (Lorenzo) Fertitta, he runs to them and stays by their side all the time. He makes me sick. He’s the classic kiss-ass, a rude man … I really want to face Barnett and I’ve already said I consider him a filthy person, even though he is a great fighter, and that I’ll beat him up and close both of his eyes.”
Let’s just say for the record, if Barnett has been trying to be a kiss-ass, he’s been doing a pretty shitty job of it for the last, oh, nine years or so. More than a brownnoser, we’d describe Barnett as straight-up apathetic about his MMA career more often than not. Still, the silver-tongued Americano isn’t going to take this lying down. He quickly issued a retort via Twitter, simultaneously looking to defend himself and shore up his street cred on the Brazilian tip:
“Bigfoot sure has a lot of shit to talk it would seem,” he tweeted, “(He) thinks I got beef w/ Brazil. Go ask Babalu, Rizzo, Vitor, Feijao, Romulo, JZ (about that) …”
Yeah, not sure what Silva was looking to accomplish here, except to bait Barnett into a semi-high-profile grudge match. Unfortunately, both guys are on opposite sides of the mythical Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix (they’re still doing that, right?). So, assuming that tournament is not scrapped somewhere down the road by Our Octagon Overlords, the only way said grudge match would happen would be in the final.