When the Affliction: Banned media tour came to the Trump Towers in New York City, it was hard to say who the fans were lined up to see. With so many international MMA stars on one stage, it was a toss-up. But by the time they left there was no question who had stolen the show and cemented himself in the minds of all those present. As soon as Josh Barnett took the microphone in hand, it was almost a foregone conclusion.
Now the talented heavyweight and star pro wrestler in Japan talks to Cage Potato about his career in the U.S. and abroad, about his upcoming fight against Pedro Rizzo, and much more.
CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Josh. Pedro Rizzo seems like an interesting opponent for you right now. What have you been doing to get ready for him?
Same thing I always do, training really hard in all aspects of mixed martial arts. I’ve got some really good sparring partners, like Babalu, Jamie Fletcher, and Ben Jones, who are in here every day, helping me out. I’ve also been working with a couple of boxing coaches, too, just to help work on some of the standup aspects because I wouldn’t mind knocking [Rizzo] out. So a guy named Oscar Muniz and Marvin Cooke have been helping me, and it’s just a pretty steady training camp.
Are you worried that if you go in there planning on standing and striking with him that you won’t use your grappling, where you seem to have the edge?
There’s no reason to worry. There’s no place for worry or doubt in anything that you do in the fight. I know I can fight smart. I’m going to go out there and see what’s available. I’m not going to force any particular game plan on to the fight. But I will make things go my way. There’s no worries, no concerns.
Affliction has mentioned having the winner of your fight face the winner of the Fedor-Sylvia fight at their next event. Do you think that’s really going to happen, and are you going to be paying close attention to all the other heavyweight fights on the card, just in case?