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Barnett “pretty likely” to join UFC after final Strikeforce bout

Strikeforce heavyweight and self-proclaimed “War Master” Josh Barnett has told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that it’s very likely he will make the move to the UFC after his bout in Strikeforce’s final show in January.  Barnett (31-6) faces the relatively unknown Nandor Guelmino (11-3-1) on the injury ravaged Strikeforce: Champions card, and reckons he’s the perfect fit for the UFC’s deep heavyweight waters.

“I think it’s pretty likely [I’ll end up in the UFC]. I think it’s a good fit for a person like me. I mean, unless you don’t want me to go in there and beat all those dudes up and completely throw your rankings out of whack, and change the whole perception of who the best heavyweights in the world are. Now if you don’t want that, then yeah, definitely don’t bring me over. But if you just want to have the biggest and best collection of heavyweights in the world, then you’ve got to have me there.”

Barnett, who has dabbled in the world of professional wrestling in the past, and may do so in the future, also stated that he would relish the opportunity of beating up all of the UFC’s top heavyweights.

“I want to go where the opportunity is best. And I like the idea of that full roster over there being at my disposal to be disposed of. I’ve been in this game longer than the new version of the UFC has, so I’m sure that my management and everybody will work it out to wherever fits best, that’s where I’ll be.”

The former UFC heavyweight champion would certainly make a most welcome addition to the stacked UFC heavyweight division. For too long Barnett has moved from organization to organization whether it be Japan, Australia or the United States. And at the ripe age of 35, Barnett is confident he has a lot left to offer in the sport.

“I’ve been asked this, hell, since I’ve been 30. The more I thought about it, the more it really just came to a very stark and simple explanation that to come up with a number, or a number of fights or a length of time, or anything like that, you can’t predict that sort of thing.”

“You really can’t. Let’s [you predict] five more bouts. Then you get to that fifth bout but you’re still able and you’re capable, and you won all those five bouts and everything is going in your direction and you feel great, why now? Your mindset has already gotten to the point that, ‘I’m supposed to quit.’ You’re making decisions for yourself before you’ve even got all the data to fully make an informed choice.”

So would Barnett actually make any waves in the UFC? What’s certain is that there aren’t many finer catch-wrestlers in the game today, who possess the speed that Barnett does. He’d also never struggle to sell a fight, possessing legendary mic skills honed in his time with pro-wrestling.

Barring disaster, Barnett will easily defeat Guelmino and be drafted into the biggest MMA organization on the planet finally.

Josh Barnett (31-6) faces Nandor Guelmino at Strikeforce on January 12th in Oklahoma City.

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