Despite the fact that he effectively torched Affliction’s MMA promotion by testing positive for steroids, Strikeforce has agreed to play ball with Josh Barnett, signing the former UFC heavyweight champion to a multi-fight contract. Strikeforce announced the news in a press release sent out this morning, but didn’t reveal the date of Barnett’s debut or the name of his first opponent. Said the Babyface Assassin:
“Strikeforce is the home of the best heavyweight division in the world and I’m proud to be able to call it my home now. I’m looking forward to competing amongst the greatest fighters in the world and fighting my way to another world title.”
I know what you’re thinking: Josh Barnett vs. Fedor Emelianenko. The super-fight that never happened in PRIDE now seems possible in Strikeforce. Since Fabricio Werdum is out of commission for a while — and Alistair Overeem says he won’t return until Werdum does — it’s a potential headliner that could create some heat for Coker & Co. But between Fedor’s management and Strikeforce’s maddening matchmaking, we won’t hold our breath. Feel free to remain cautiously optimistic.
Over the past two-and-a-half years, Barnett has compiled a six-fight win streak that includes victories over Jeff Monson, Pedro Rizzo, and Gilbert Yvel, while competing for Sengoku, Affliction, and DREAM. His most recent win was a swift first-round TKO (sodomy) against Geronimo Dos Santos at Impact 1: Brisbane.
In a related story, Josh Barnett will be performing at Antonio Inoki’s star-studded GENOME13 pro-wrestling event on September 25th, in a match against…wait for it…Tim Sylvia. No shit. Mark Coleman, Bob Sapp, Bobby Lashley, and Tiger Mask have also been announced for the card.