Barnett: There’s more athletes than fighters now
Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett fights former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir on August 31. Barnett appeared recently appear on MMA Sentinel Radio with Evan Shoman and Stephie Daniels, and discussed the state of the art.
Evan Shoman: We saw Shogun get choked out by Chael Sonnen last week. Do you feel like you are that last glimmer of hope for the ‘Pride Never Die’ attitude that fans have?
Josh Barnett: No. I was there. I lived it. Nothing dies if you remember it within yourself. I was a fighter there. Whether it dies or not, is not up to me. I’m not going to go out and wave a flag for a dead organization THAT ACTUALLY OWED ME MONEY WHEN IT FOLDED!
ES: There are fighters and there are athletes who fight. Do you think if you have to use something as a tool to get ready to compete, you aren’t a “fighter”?
JB: Everyone has what works for them. You are right though, that there are athletes and fighters. In this sport, I think there are more athletes than fighters now. It isn’t surprising; because of how easy it is to get into MMA today. There aren’t all of the barriers that we used to deal with to get a fight, get the training, or even get into a gym. I had to try out for AMC Pankration and I had already beaten one of their pros in my first fight ever! They said it was all well and good, but they wanted me to go through conditioning, training, and an interview. They judged me to see if I was worth their time to invest in. I was still paying a gym membership, too. I paid, I trained, and I was a fighter.