(…and the card holders for Barnett’s next fight.)
When Josh “The Babyface Assassin” Barnett fights for World Victory Road in Japan on March 5th, it’ll be the first time we’ve seen him in action in 15 months. Hidehiko Yoshida will be his opponent in the main event at “Sengoku” – WVR’s debut event. Barnett says this fight makes for a good headliner – on an already exciting card – and he’s glad to be back in action.
World Victory Road became the winning horse in the Barnett race after a messy contract situation left by the dismatling of PRIDE. The brand new WVR has been snatching up fighters lately, including top guys like Nick “The Goat” Thompson, Takanori Gomi, and Kazuyuki Fujita – all fighting in the debut event.
Barnett mentioned that although he is now with WVR, he wouldn’t rule out signing up with DREAM, which is run by several former PRIDE suits in conjunction with some K-1′s parent company. Barnett says the deal would be up to DREAM and the execs know what the issues were in PRIDE, so the conflicts can be avoided if they wanted. That could set up a possible fourth fight with Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic who recently signed up with DREAM. Cro Cop accounts for three of Barnett’s five career losses. Are we over that match-up or not? Me? I could probably be coerced into tuning in, but would complain about it being boring the next day.
Josh also recently spoke about the talk of him possibly fighting Fedor Emelianenko.
“Honestly, I don’t think much about it at all. I’m not Randy (Couture),” he said about the Fedor fight. “I’m not going to chase after this fight. For me, I need to be out there fighting my fights, creating my own merit. Fedor is the No. 1 guy out there based on his past performances; he’s an incredible fighter and a cool guy. At this point people need to go their own ways.
“I’ve been waiting way too damn long to get a fight because of the turmoil that came of Pride folding, so at this point I’m not going to do anything that could possibly stall or hold up my career anymore in hopes in putting one specific (fight) together.”
He’s of course hinting at Couture’s legal issues – and subsequent stretch of inactivity – with the UFC stemming from The Natural’s long struggle to put together a fight with Fedor. Randy’s situation is different, of course, since he wants this fight before he heads off to drool on himself at the nursing home. “The Babyface Assassin” – who beat Couture six years ago – has a lot more time left in his career and he can certainly wait for a fight with Fedor.
Babyface also said he won’t fight more than eight times in fourteen months, but might consider more on a “case-by-case” basis. Eight times in fourteen months? That’s it? Luckily WVR picked up a workhorse like “The Goat”, who in the past has fought to the tune of eighteen fights in fourteen months. Get off your ass, Barnett!
Here’s the fight card for March 5th’s “Sengoku”:
– Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Josh Barnett
– Takanori Gomi vs. Duane Ludwig
– Kazuo Misaki vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
– Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Peter Graham
– Makoto Takimoto vs. Evangelista Cyborg
– Ryo Kawamura vs. Antonio Braga Neto
– Fabricio Monteiro vs. Nick Thompson