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Tag: Josh Barnett

[VIDEO] Terrorist Beards, Showtime Kicks and Pseudo Death Threats Abound the UFC 164 Preview


(Video via UFC Youtube)

In case you were somehow sleeping on UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis II, which takes place August 31st in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, don’t. The card is relatively stacked and the new extended UFC 164 video preview gives you a sneak peak at the night’s two biggest bouts — a lightweight title rematch between champion Benson Henderson (who is rocking a Jon Jones-esque terrorist beard these days) and Anthony Pettis and a heavyweight submission artist clash between former champions Frank Mir and Josh Barnett.

If you’ve watched the UFC for more than 10 years and enjoy living in that past (I know, too on point, is it not?), you’ve got to be pretty geeked about Mir vs. Barnett. Both men are behemoths that somehow possess slick ground skills. Both men are also charismatic and skilled shit-stirrers that became champions at an early age and have managed to remain competitive at the highest levels for over a decade. Will this match up be a test of who has the better Jitz (Mir, after all, does threaten to “drown” Barnett with his submission game in the above video, whatever that means) or will their grappling skills cancel each other out and turn Mir vs. Barnett into a slugfest? I HAVE NO IDEA BUT WATCH THIS ANYWAY.

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MMA Fighters Transitioning to Pro-Wrestling: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


(Let me guess, it’ll sound something like “Tito Ortiz, The Huntington Bad Beach Boy: Future NTA world TNA heavyweight champion of the world.” Capture via ProWresBlog.Blogspot.Com.)

For some MMA fighters, professional wrestling was just a one-time cash grab. For others, it became a second career. Inspired by yet another week of TNA Impact Wrestling’s efforts to get anyone to care about the professional wrestling experiments of two broken-down MMA legends, we’ll be examining fighters who took up professional wrestling after they made their names in MMA in our newest installment of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

Bear in mind that this article is focusing on mixed martial artists who transitioned to professional wrestling careers, and not fighters who started off as professional wrestlers. So that means fighters like Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Bobby Lashley, Giant Silva, Bob Sapp, Dos Caras Jr. (aka Alberto Del Rio), Dan Severn (Google it) and Sakuraba will not be covered here — although a few of these men will make appearances in this article. Let’s start off on a positive note…

The Good

The Professional Wrestling Career of Josh Barnett.

When you’re thinking of good instances of an MMA fighter turning to professional wrestling as a second career choice, Josh Barnett should immediately come to mind. There have been other fighters who dabbled in professional wrestling, but Barnett is one of the only ones to be just as popular and successful in it as he was in MMA.

Before his transition, Barnett became the youngest heavyweight champion in UFC history by defeating Randy Couture at UFC 36. After being stripped of his title due to a positive drug test, Barnett set his sights on the Japanese professional wrestling scene, where the fans value legitimacy and toughness from their wrestlers more than mic skills and charisma (although Barnett has both in spades). He immediately challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and although he came up short, he went on to enjoy the most relevant crossover career of any fighter on this list before his return to the UFC earlier this year put a halt to the wrasslin’ for the time being.

It’d be easy to call his work with the incredibly underrated Perry Saturn or the technical wrestling clinic that he put on against Hideki Suzuki his most impressive stuff, but it’s probably not. Honest to God, Barnett’s biggest accomplishment may be the fact that he managed to pull Bob Sapp — who has the same cardio and technique in wrestling as he does in MMA — through a watchable match. How many people can claim that?

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Josh Barnett vs. Frank Mir Booked for UFC 164 in August


(YES, MY LIEGE. / Image via 2Jupes on the UG)

Think of what you were doing 11 years ago. Most of you might envision a moment in your life that probably seems like ancient history now. George W. Bush was in his first term, Nelly was on the radio; I was fresh out of college, working at an Urban Outfitters, hoping that I’d eventually find a better job. (I did, fortunately.) The year was 2002, and it was the last time Josh Barnett competed in the UFC.

Most of you already know the tale: Barnett beats down Randy Couture in the second round of the their headlining title fight at UFC 36, then tests positive for steroids and is stripped of his title. He spends the next six years competing almost exclusively in Japan, gets himself in more PED trouble while fighting for Affliction, and has a minor career rebirth in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix of 2011-2012, where he finishes Brett Rogers and Sergei Kharitonov with startling ease (both by arm-triangle-choke), but gets his ass handed to him by Daniel Cormier.

Perhaps against their better judgment, the UFC has given Barnett one more chance to fight in the Octagon, and he’s just gotten his return opponent. The UFC confirmed last night that Barnett will face Frank Mir — himself a former heavyweight champ from a bygone era — at UFC 164, August 31st in Milwaukee. [Ed. note: They want us to refer to this event as "UFC 164: Harley Davidson Hometown Throwdown" but fuck that.]

There’s a few ways to look at this match…

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It Begins (Again (For Serious This Time)): Josh Barnett Inks Multi-Fight Deal With the UFC


(We assume that this is how Barnett’s contract negotiation went down.)

Although we might have jumped the gun when we noticed that Josh Barnett’s profile had been added to UFC.com some weeks back — which honestly, can you blame us? – it finally appears that the perennial top heavyweight IS in fact headed back to the UFC despite rejecting his initial contract. For serious this time (via MMAJunkie/USA Today):

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com today confirmed with promotion officials that former UFC heavyweight champion Barnett has signed a new multi-fight deal with the promotion and is expected to make his return to the octagon later this year. An official announcement is expected soon. 

“The Warmaster” has not competed since effortlessly strangling out some dude at the final Strikeforce event, but his addition to the UFC’s apparently shallow heavyweight division will undoubtedly make for some fireworks. Who would you like to see Barnett face first, Potato Nation? Personally, I’d like to see him rematch Nandor Guelmino, the scary-looking sumbitch who if I recall correctly gave Barnett one hell of a fight at…what’s that? You say Nandor *is* the guy Barnett effortlessly tapped at the final Strikeforce event? Joe Silva, I don’t know how you pull it off, you magnificent “mean little f*cker.”

To celebrate Barnett’s sure-to-be-triumphant return, we’ve compiled the definitive collection of Warbringer songs (and the Bolt Thrower song after which Barnett is nicknamed) after the jump. If you don’t understand why, well then you just don’t know Josh Barnett.

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Friday Link Dump: Inside the UFC’s Top-Secret Contracts, Why Smiling Fighters Are More Likely to Lose, The Ultimate CrossFit Guide + More


(It’s a gif of a guy eating cotton candy, played backwards. You either love this or you don’t. Props: Deadspin/Bob’sBlitz)

The Business of Fighting: A Look Inside the UFC’s Top-Secret Fighter Contract (BleacherReport)

UFC on FX 8 Predictions: Main Card (FightDay)

Nate Diaz, The UFC and The Other F-Word (MMAJunkie)

UFC Fighters That Smile Before a Fight Lose More; Science Is Awesome (MiddleEasy)

“…so basically, I’ll kneel down behind Anderson, and you push him over me. Trust me, it’ll be epic.” (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

Josh Barnett Reignites Hope for UFC Deal, Saying It’s Where He Can Cement His Legacy (MMAFighting)

History of the UFC Video Game (Pt. 1) – Enter the Digital Era (MMAPayout)

UFC 165 Booked for Air Canada Centre on Sept. 21 in Toronto, Canada (MMAMania)

Sam Sicilia is Still on the UFC Roster (MMAWeekly)

CrossFit: Your Ultimate Training Guide (MensFitness)

“Mortal Kombat: The Live Tour” Was a Real Thing That Happened in 1996 and It’s Deliciously Awful [Video] (Complex)

How Do Men React to Labor Pain? (Break)

Star Trek Recast: If Other Celebs Were Star Trek Characters (WorldwideInterweb)

Lessons From a Self-Made Millionaire: Meet Adam Carolla (DoubleViking)

25 Absolutely Ridiculous Daytime Television Screenshots (EgoTV)

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UFC Planned to Book Josh Barnett vs. Junior Dos Santos If Barnett Signed With Promotion


(UFC President Dana White revealed the organization’s previous plans for Barnett during a media scrum last weekend)

According to Dana White, nomadic heavyweight Josh Barnett not only turned down an opportunity to fight in the UFC again for the first time in a decade, he also turned down a chance to jump right into title contention. Barnett is 1-1 in his last two bouts — rebounding with a first-round submission victory over Nandor Guelmino last month following his decision loss to Daniel Cormier in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finals — but White said Saturday that if his promotion had been able to sign Barnett, they would have immediately pitted him against fellow former heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos.

According to SB Nation, White said that the standard exclusivity component of the proposed UFC contract was the sticking point that Barnett had with the organization’s offer. Barnett has not announced any other plans for his MMA career and White went out of his way to say that he didn’t think the fighter was hesitant to face Dos Santos or any other particular fighter, so perhaps the two sides are still negotiating.

“I’m sure Josh Barnett wouldn’t care (who he fought),” White said after the UFC on Fuel 7 card in England this past Saturday. ”Josh Barnett is a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy, he does his own thing, beats to his own fucking drum. Josh Barnett’s never been a guy to say I don’t want to fight this guy or I won’t fight that guy. He’s not that type of person.”

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War No More: Josh Barnett Rejects UFC Contract


(“Don’t worry about me, Josh. I’ll be telling the media how much of a fucking joke you were to begin with by this time tomorrow.”)

It is being reported by multiple sources that Josh Barnett has officially turned down a UFC contract, despite the fact that we did literally everything within our power to hype up his return. The ungrateful son of a bitch former UFC heavyweight champion has been in negotiations with the organization to rejoin their ranks after his most recent home, Strikeforce, exited the fight game with a whimper last month.

Barnett’s manager, Leland LaBarre, seemed to suggest that show cash was not their issue with the UFC’s offer, which is pretty surprising considering the ridiculous rate Barnett was receiving over at Strikeforce. According to LaBarre, there were other, undisclosed issues between Barnett and the UFC that simply could not be worked out:

We agreed on guaranteed compensation.In fact, we never even countered. We accepted their original offer. There are some outlying issues – one in particular – that as of this point we were unable to agree on.

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Prepare for War: Dana White Says Josh Barnett is “Probably” Headed Back to the UFC


(“Why yes, Dana, the blonde gentleman in the lower left *is* my doctor. What of it?”)

The Sam and Diane relationship between Josh Barnett and the UFC continues to forge ahead, Potato Nation. Fortunately, we have more than an outdated UFC.com profile to go with this time. During the media scrum following the UFC 158 press conference earlier today, Dana White was questioned by MMAMania about the likelihood of seeing “The Warmaster” back in the octagon, and the UFC President was surprisingly optimistic:

I have not (spoken with Barnett). It’s probably going to happen.

There you have it; absolute and undeniable proof that Barnett is back, baby. And here you thought we were just tugging your respective dicks this whole time. Shame on you.

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It Begins (Again): Josh Barnett Added to UFC.com [UPDATED]

Could the Warmaster be Octagon-bound after all? Props to Karl Olsson on the UG for giving us the heads-up that a fighter page for Josh Barnett has just been added to UFC.com. The page lists the heavyweight veteran’s career record, a few striking/grappling stats, and a brief Q&A which reveals that Barnett “sold guns” before he started fighting, and that he considers his win over Randy Couture at UFC 36 to be the key fight in his career. Keep in mind that Barnett was stripped of his UFC heavyweight title following that win due to a positive test for multiple steroids, which is what put him on the UFC’s black-list in the first place.

Barnett’s re-signing with the UFC hasn’t been officially announced, but we’ll let you know if that changes. In the meantime, feel free to suggest possible matchups for Josh’s UFC return in the comments section. (Our twitter suggestion that Barnett fight Pat Barry was quickly dismissed by both men.)

Update: On Thursday, 1/17, Barnett tweeted that despite his inclusion on the UFC website, he still hasn’t signed a contract.

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‘Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine’ Salaries: Josh Barnett Makes 250k The Really, Really, Easy Way


(“OK, Josh, now act like this Nandor fellow was somehow able to land a punch on you. We’ll use it for the gag reel.”)

The Oklahoma Athletic Commission recently released the payout figures for Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine, and wouldn’t you know it, Heavyweight Grand Prix runner-up Josh Barnett was able to walk away with nearly a quarter of the total disclosed $1,153,500 payroll for less than three minutes of work. Also of note, Tarec Saffiedine collected approximately $2.50 for each kick he was able to land on Nate Marquardt, yet still wound up a grand shy of, you guessed it, Frank Stallone Nate Marquardt when all was said and done. Speaking of Marquardt, dude somehow didn’t even get a precautionary suspension despite exiting the arena on crutches with a leg that looked like it had stared at the Ark of the Covenant. We were able to secure an exclusive interview with his doctor earlier today, who smugly stated that “Leg kicks certainly do not end lives” before throwing a smoke bomb and disappearing from the room. A strange man indeed.

Anyway, check out the full list of salaries along with our thoughts after the jump. Per usual, these figures are absent of any locker room bonuses, sponsorship bonuses, or invitations to Scott Coker’s BBQ bash this weekend that any of the fighters may have received.

Tarec Saffiedine: $39,000 ($19,500 win bonus)
def. Nate Marquardt: $40,000

Daniel Cormier: $120,000 ($60,000 win bonus)
def. Dion Staring: $8,000

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