Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett appeared recently on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour, and discussed what happened the last fight vs. Travis Browne, and detailed his 12 step program to return to dominance.
"Sometimes you just don't appear, man," said Barnett as transcribed by MMAFighting. "After 17 years, I can't say that I've had tougher nights, or you've had nights were you didn't perform as well as you'd like to. But this was the only time I'd ever had where it was just... I just didn't show up at all.
"I really feel like I didn't even have a fight. Me, ‘the Warmaster,' Josh Barnett, he didn't show up. Some other guy walked into the ring and sort of piddled around a little bit., but that's not me, and it was very strange. But I figure after being in so many fights and being through this whole process for so long, it's really not too surprising that it could happen."
"With this, it's no different than any fight. You've got to look back and you have to look through all the data to try and find the opportunities to make yourself better, because if you're not improving, no matter what you're doing, you're just dying. Inflation goes up, but your dollar's still not worth the same.
"After 17 years, you just can't do everything the way the way you used to. I mean, you can to a degree, but you have to make changes."
Step 1: Remove outside distractions, focus solely on fighting
Step 2: Move camp away from home, narrow focus, remove convenience
Step 3: Pre-camp harder
Step 4: Increase flexibility
Step 5: Work more on weaknesses
Step 6: Spend more time on recovery
Step 7: Work on learning a new language
Step 8: Kill
Step 9: Kill!
Step 10: KILL
Step 11: Kill, KILL, KILL, KILL, kill, kill, KILL, KILL, kill, KILL
Step 12: KILL!
"I still want to fight," said Barnett, 36. "Even if I thought to myself, I want to retire. Well, how are you going to retire now? There's no way I could stop fighting after that. I felt a lot of humiliation and just regret. I just couldn't sit with that. There's all the fans that believe in me, all my coaches, all my friends and family.
"I couldn't ever let anything end like that. There's no way. I know that I have so much more to give, and I'm so much better than that, make sure to keep from any repeat appearances of that kind of crap, and go out there and do what I'm supposed to do, the way that I'm supposed to."
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Watch entire interview (1:48:30 mark)