Josh Barnett appeared on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, and said he still hopes to sign with the UFC. By his account a single issue remains unresolved. Barnett declined to name the stumbling block out of respect for the promotion, but characterised it as "a very, very simple thing, in my mind."
Barnett even has an ideal opponent in mind - Frank Mir.
"With Frank, it's just the one fight everyone brings to me," he said. "I think part of that stems from us being American submission guys, and being big dudes, and having the fight between Nogueira and Mir, me and Nogueira, there's some commonality between opponents. I can understand why fans look at it in that way. And honestly, yeah, Frank's been around a long time. I’d have absolutely no issue fighting him in any way, shape, or form. I think it would be something that would get people excited, but I'll be honest. If I'm just being humble, I think I get people excited anyway."
Back in February Barnett had declined the UFC's offer, but says now "the UFC would be the most attractive place to ply my wares."
"I’ve been a top 10 fighter longer than anybody active in mixed martial arts at this time," said The War Master. "And there's a real good reason for that. To be in the UFC would mean to go back to where I already won the belt, to go back to where I was a champion at 24 years old, and try to cement my legacy as an MMA fighter. I don't really feel I can create that legacy and finish on a high point unless I’m there."
It was widely believed he would end up in Bellator, but the right deal has apparently not been forthcoming from the world's #2 MMA promotion.
"Well, I think the right deal just hasn’t put itself together," said Barnett. "There's been a lot of good pieces. These promotions have a lot to offer in terms of competition, promotional value, and opportunity to show the fights to a large audience. The fighting part of it, I’m game for all of it. I think it’d be a blast no matter where. But you can't just run out and start punching people without thinking about the business aspects of it. Between me and my manager, the right scenario just hasn’t presented itself just yet."
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