Heavyweight Josh Barnett is widely considered to be one of the top talents in the division, compiling a career mark of 32-6 including 27 stoppages and wins over a number of game opponents including Sergei Kharitonov, Jeff Monson, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. However, he hasn’t seen action in the Octagon in more than a decade after competing in Japan for the bulk of his run in the ring before signing with Strikeforce.
Of course, when Strikeforce went under earlier this year it seemed likely Barnett would be brought into the UFC and things even got so close a clash with former champion Junior dos Santos was in the process of being booked. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out after all when contract negotiations fell apart over an unknown sticking point.
Barnett spoke about the issue some through representative on The MMA Hour where he expressed obvious disappointment about being unable to come to terms with the world’s foremost MMA promotion.
“I was excited to fight Junior. I thought he was a favorable match up for me, but Zuffa was unwilling to give me something that they gave Eddie Alvarez. No disrespect to Eddie, but I felt it was fair to give it to me as well.”
“Although things seem to be working out well for me, I feel bad for the fans. They wanted me to fight certain guys in the UFC and I really wanted to give them those fights. Once we get the deal we are working on done, the fight the fans scream for will be lost forever.”