Josh Barnett left the UFC several years ago following issues with his contract and a failed drug test.
Now, Barnett is set to return to action inside the Octagon later this month vs. Frank Mir in a battle of former UFC heavyweight champions at UFC 164.
After Zuffa purchased Strikeforce and consolidated the heavyweight division with the UFC’s, Barnett remained in Strikeforce as he was entered in the Grand Prix. Following the doors closing on Strikeforce, most of the top names joined up with the UFC.
Barnett, though, didn’t.
He was rumored to be signing a contract, but the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement. A few months later, and Barnett was back at the negotiating table and inking a deal to face Mir.
So, are Barnett and UFC president Dana White back to “buddy-buddy?”
“I haven’t seen him in a while,” Barnett said Tuesday during a media conference call. “I think we have a tentative date to go out, break bread, see a movie and have a couples massage soon.”
Barnett, ever the joker, kept the conference call lively with his answers. “The Warmaster” defeated Randy Couture for the belt, but was promptly stripped after failing the post-fight drug test.
He said the negotiations were “like anything else. One person says I’ll give you five bucks, another says 10; it all works out in the end.
“All I know at this point is how to punch stuff, scream and pain from workouts. All I do is train right now.”