Josh Barnett is old school. He has been fighting professionaly since 1997 and is the old fighter on the current UFC roster who also fought in the pre-Zuffa organization. Barnett recently spoke to MMAFighting and reflected on the good ole days and what the difference was between fighters of his generation and the new generation:
"Today there is the opportunity to branch out and to be a part of things that are outside of fighting. It has a broader acceptance from mainstream public. There's a lot more notoriety with this and a much bigger public spotlight that comes with it. As far as making a living, it's a far better opportunity now than it was when I started."
As the old guard slowly dwindles in number, Barnett remains one of the few active veterans to still remember the NHB days. He marvels at the massive leaps forward the sport has made since that era, although he believes it comes with a cost.
"I think that a lot of guys fight not for the reasons that we used to fight for," Barnett said. "There's a lot of guys that get in here and they just want to get in, make a run, think that they're going to be famous, make a lot of money, what have you. They fight for glory, where we fought for blood and for honor.
"There's still great, true fighters coming out of this, but these guys aren't quite as tough as they used to be. There's way better athletes, they're much better prepared, but some of these guys, they don't have that grit."
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