Barnett ready for his first UFC title defense
Josh Barnett won the UFC heavyweight title in March of 2002, defeating Randy Couture by TKO. Barnett then left the organization to fight overseas and returning ten years later, feels like he will finally defend that heavyweight title he won ten years ago:
“When I walk in the ring, in my mind, I’m making my first title defense. That’s the way I see it,” he said on a recent episode of MMA’s Great Debate.
Barnett’s last UFC outing was in March 2002 when he stopped Randy Couture in the second round to win a belt that he would subsequently be stripped of after testing positive for a banned substance.
Barnett went on to fight for Pride, where he faced the likes of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Mark Hunt and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The 35-year-old compared Mir’s career fighting in the UFC unfavorably with his own, while he competed in Japan.
“We’ve always been in different places, even when he was fighting for titles. No one ever took my belt from me, so I don’t know what belt they were swinging around, but that wasn’t the UFC heavyweight title as far as I was concerned and I was off at Pride fighting the top dudes in the world at the time.”