While the vast majority of Strikeforce fighters already know their fates – and that fate includes at least a shot in the UFC for many of them – Josh Barnett is still one elite fighter Strikeforce veteran that has yet to declare a new home.
Barnett decimated Nandor Guelmino at the final Strikeforce event earlier this month, but with the doors of that promotion now shuttered, the former UFC heavyweight champion is still sorting out whether he will be back in the Octagon or not.
“So you’re asking me if I’m going to go over to the UFC like every other schmuck-jabroni reporter has been asking me this whole time,” said Barnett following his win over Guelmino.
“Am I going to go to the UFC? I have no idea where I’m going to end up at this point.”
Barnett has a sordid past with UFC brass, leaving many to wonder if he would be welcomed back or not.
UFC president Dana White, however, has indicated that Barnett’s return was possible. On Tuesday night’s edition of UFC Tonight, he sounded as if Barnett’s return might even be imminent, but the devil is in the details.
“We're talking to Josh Barnett right now,” said White. “Yes, we're open to bringing Josh Barnett to the UFC; it's about making a deal now.”
Barnett has been fighting professionally since 1997. He became the UFC heavyweight champion by defeating Randy Couture. He rose to prominence, however, while fighting on the Japanese circuit, particularly under the Pride FC banner.
He has squared off with many of the top fighters in the world over the years, amassing a 32-6 overall record.
Barnett would be a solid addition to the UFC, immediately stepping into the upper echelon of the heavyweight division in the Octagon, with any number of marquee match-ups waiting to be made.
Now, it just remains to be seen if Barnett and the UFC can come to terms.