“I was absolutely shocked because it’s basically throwing in the towel ... you know if there was any doubts or any way for him to clear his name, that ain’t the way to do it.”
“You know the whole thing that happened from start-to-finish makes you question everything ... there has been hearing after hearing where something didn’t happen, where once he doesn’t show up, you know last time he doesn’t bring his lawyer and now he’s just not going to be there at all ... at this point, if he doesn’t come I think it’s pretty clear they’re not going to give him a license.”
“If California doesn’t give him a license, sure, you can go commission shop, but that makes Coker and Strikeforce look bad for putting a guy in a tournament that no-showed a hearing to get reinstated after a steroid test violation and also there’s going to be states like Nevada and New Jersey, powerful states where he’s not going to be able to fight ... Honest to God if he doesn’t go, if I was the promoter, no question, if I was the promoter in this situation, if I’m Coker, I’m telling him, dude, you change your mind and you get to that commission and you ask, I’m sorry I applied late, get me on the docket. Because if you’re not on that docket and they don’t approve you, I got to kick you out of the tournament. You got to. Because you can’t go in there and go, well, you know, what if Josh wins? We can’t have the final in San Jose. We can’t have the finals in Jersey, we can’t have the finals in Vegas.”
“I guess you could keep going to Texas, but then it also looks bad. Don’t get me wrong, boxing did the same thing with Margarito and they did, you know, 1 million plus buys with Margarito and Pacquaio, so it’s not like it’s something that hasn’t been done by boxing and it’s not something unprecedented or anything like that. But I think it’s bad for the promotion and I think it’s bad for all concerned and I don’t understand. For himself, I think it looks bad because now it’s going to be, you ran away from a hearing. He already has three positives. But running away from the hearing, I mean people are going to go OK, you know what evidence do they have on him? What is he hiding? You know he’s not even going to show up and fight?"
“To me, I couldn’t put the guy in the tournament. And he’s not instrumental in the tournament. I mean, if it was Werdum or it was Overeem or Fedor, one of those big three, you know maybe you go and give leeway because they’re so important to the tournament. Barnett is not, you know. It’s nice and he was a star in PRIDE and some people remember that, but he hasn’t don’t anything of major significance in MMA in years anyway. He may very well be still a very good fighter, you know, you don’t know until you see him against top competition. I mean, what I’ve seen of him in his recent fights, I can say, you know, he hasn’t looked great or anything like that. The Yvel fight he dominated but didn’t finish, and then the Geronimo dos Santos, that was a guy who was not top caliber by any means ... he won the fight, but that’s immaterial anyway.
“I was stunned when I read that ... from that last hearing, you bring your lawyer, you go in there, you act contrite.”
Read entire article...
Listen to entire interview...
MMA gear now available at the UG Store