Josh Barnett
The Warmaster
Making move to Bellator
HeavyweightBellator
April 1, 2019
Barnett told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that he has officially signed a contract with Bellator MMA.
ANALYSIS
Barnett has had a long-standing feud with the UFC over the promotion's partnership with USADA, which forced him to take a two-plus year hiatus from the sport due to what turned out to be a false violation. He officially left the UFC last summer, and now the 41-year-old has made his next career move public. It's unclear what Bellator has planned for him after its Heavyweight Grand Prix recently concluded, but Barnett is a recognizable name that has shared the cage with the likes of Andrei Arlovski, Ben Rothwell, Roy Nelson, Travis Brown, Daniel Cormier and Frank Mir. With Mir also on the Bellator roster, it's possible the two could run it back after Barnett defeated Mir via TKO back in 2013.
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Formally leaves UFC
HeavyweightBellator
June 24, 2018
Barnett has formally left UFC, he announced on Facebook.
ANALYSIS
Citing a troublesome relationship with the organization over the last year and a half highlighted by ongoing controversy with USADA, Barnett announced that he is officially no longer a member of UFC. He did not state where he will be heading next specifically, but he did write that he was hoping for the chance to compete in fights that he wants, mentioning grappling and professional wrestling.
Wants out of UFC
HeavyweightBellator
June 21, 2018
Barnett has requested his release from his UFC contract due to his distrust of the promotion's anti-doping partner USADA, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Barnett was flagged in December 2016 for a potential anti-doping violation, but after a lengthly appeal process, he was finally cleared to fight again in March. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion has now been out of competition nearly two years, having last picked up a win over Andrei Arlovski in September 2016. Now 40 years old, Barnett does not wish to re-enter the testing pool for the organization that did him wrong, preferring to finish his career under the banner of another promotion.
Finally back from USADA ban
HeavyweightBellator
March 24, 2018
Barnett is now able to continue his career after being flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and serving a long-term suspension, Damon Martin of MMA Weekly reports.
ANALYSIS
Barnett was initially flagged by the USADA in December of 2016 for a violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected during that month, and hasn't seen any action since. Now that he is back, speculations are circulating as to who his first fight will be with. As nothing is set in stone quite yet, be on the lookout for future updates regarding Barnett's status.
Flagged for USADA violation
HeavyweightBellator
December 27, 2016
Barnett has been flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a potential violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on Dec. 9, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
This doesn't necessarily guarantee that Barnett is going to face a severe punishment quite yet, as he'll have the opportunity to appeal to the USADA for a reduced or eliminated suspension. That said, Barnett's checkered past with violations certainly doesn't help his cause, as he's had multiple failed drug tests throughout his career. Considering the 39-year-old is getting up there in age, the potential for a long suspension could put his career in limbo. However, we should get more information regarding his availability as the investigation moves forward.
Digs deep to submit Andrei Arlovski in Hamburg
HeavyweightBellator
September 3, 2016
Barnett defeated Andrei Arlovski via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:53 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Hamburg, Germany.
ANALYSIS
Barnett is absorbing far too many power shots to the head these days, but his submission game remains as strong as ever. He was able to eat plenty of strikes from Arlovski early on that would have finished most men. Barnett took over the contest over the final two frames, especially Round 2 which could have easily been scored a 10-8 round for The Warmaster. He ended landing 112 of 150 (75%) of his total strikes and secured 6:25 worth of control time. Barnett seems like a poor bet moving forward due to his age (38), inactivity of late (he has just three fights in the last three years), and the amount of damage he is absorbing on the feet on a regular basis, but he is definitely going to get a big fight his next time out.