As Strikeforce's final show approaches on Jan. 12, the list of fighters that will eventually transition to the UFC is still not set in stone.
One fighter in particular that is on everyone's radar is former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, who fights Nandor Guelmino at the final Strikeforce show. No one knows, however, if he will make the move back to the Octagon, even with a victory.
Over the years, UFC president Dana White‘s relationship with Barnett hasn't been the best, and as of last weekend he still wasn't positive what the future held for the former champion once Strikeforce closed its doors on Jan. 13.
“I don't know, we'll find out soon though,” White answered when asked about Barnett.
For his part, Barnett isn't stressing about a possible future in the UFC because he still has a test in front of him on Jan. 12. When it's over, if the UFC is the best place for him to land then he'll land there, and if not then there are plenty of places for him to go and crack a few heads.
“I'm here to fight, that's what I do. The rest of it, I'm sure there's always a spot for me around the world to go beat people up,” Barnett told MMAWeekly Radio.
“I think it's great that they're asking about it, all the folks that are buzzing around the internet and otherwise putting that out in the air, that's fantastic. I am not thinking at all about the UFC or anything other than fighting right now. That is stuff that doesn't matter until you've gone out there and won your fight.”
Barnett says after Jan. 12 is done and gone he'll leave negotiations up to his management team, and if the UFC is the best place for him to go, then that's where he will sign.
“At that point, I'm sure my management will do the best to put me in the place where I belong, if that is the best fit for me at the time,” Barnett said about the UFC.
Admittedly, Barnett knows there are a lot of challenges for him in the heavyweight division in the UFC, and he's a guy who loves a good fight.
“I know there is a lot of good competition in the UFC, and I'd like to take them out and not to dinner,” said Barnett.
While Barnett's focus remains on his upcoming fight, he does notice the amount of fans championing his cause to get back in the UFC. It doesn't go unnoticed, but Barnett can only concern himself with what he can control and that's being in the best shape possible and ready to fight at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine in Oklahoma City.
“When I get in the ring, I do it for me and me alone. I know the business aspect and what it means for the fan participation part of it, and I'm very appreciative of it, but I think the best way I can serve this entire system is to be the best possible me I can be, and to focus on being as sincere and brutal as possible,” said Barnett.
“Everything else will fall in line.”
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