Josh Barnett has been to the cupboard of the world's MMA promotions, and it appears he's found it pretty bare. He appeared on The MMA Hour Monday and, as always, he had a few interesting things to say. Chief among them were about the potential of him signing a contract with the UFC. When pressed about his desires for his fighting future he gave the following statement:
"I’ve been a top 10 fighter longer than anybody active in mixed martial arts at this time," he said. "And there's a real good reason for that. To be in the UFC would mean to go back to where I already won the belt, to go back to where I was a champion at 24 years old, and try to cement my legacy as an MMA fighter. I don't really feel I can create that legacy and finish on a high point unless I’m there."
He spoke some about his attempts to test the market with his management team, and why he still feels that the UFC is the best place for him.
"Well, I think the right deal just hasn’t put itself together," he said. "There's been a lot of good pieces. These promotions have a lot to offer in terms of competition, promotional value, and opportunity to show the fights to a large audience. The fighting part of it, I’m game for all of it. I think it’d be a blast no matter where. But you can't just run out and start punching people without thinking about the business aspects of it. Between me and my manager, the right scenario just hasn’t presented itself just yet."
He danced around the sticking point that previously prevented a deal with the UFC being made and spent some time expressing his interest in a potential fight against Frank Mir. However, it's not difficult to read between the lines here and see that Barnett isn't finding a lot to like from the world's smaller promotions.
I don't know what exactly he's looking for in a potential contract. Some have suggested PPV points, which seems unlikely to happen, but it may be his desire to compete in pro-wrestling along side his MMA career. Either way, and despite fan support, he doesn't have a lot of chips on the table for any future negotiations. Hopefully he finds a home soon and we can see him back in the cage before too much time passes.