Josh Barnett understands pressure.
Barnett has made a name for himself in MMA, winning the UFC heavyweight title and putting together a lengthy win streak.
However, when he steps inside the cage in January at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine against Nador Guelmino, Barnett realizes all the pressure is on his shoulders.
“I think the biggest danger is that he’s an unknown quantity, and of all things, if I don’t beat him spectacularly – regardless of how good he really is – the perception could be that I’m slipping or I’m not as good as people thought,” said Barnett, during a recent appearance on MMAjunkie.com Radio. “All the onus lands on me.”
Barnett (31-6) lost earlier this year to Daniel Cormier, suffering a broken hand in the process. He has spent the past several months on the sidelines, recovering from the injury.
As for his future, while Barnett would like nothing more than another shot in the UFC to “see the look on some folk’s faces” who thought he’d never get back, his sole focus now is on Guelmino.
“Now that I’ve got a face and a name, no matter how tacky their pants, I’ve got something to focus on,” Barnett said. “I’m just a guy who goes out there and beats the crap out of (my opponent).”