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Josh Barnett: I requested my release from the UFC because of USADA

Josh Barnett explains his side of the story about his recent release from the UFC.

UFC Fight Night: Barnett v Nelson Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images

On Wednesday, it was reported that former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett has been released from the UFC. However, there were no further details that were disclosed.

That same day, “The Warmaster” released a statement to ESPN, where he aired his side of the story. Apparently, it was the 40-year-old Barnett himself who requested his release from the company.

”It’s true that I have asked for my release and we are discussing the terms now. Zuffa has been fantastic and above-board since I re-signed with the company. Every promise made has been kept and I have no disparaging words for them,” Barnett said.

Barnett had just recently gone through arbitration with USADA, where his potential four-year suspension for a 2016 failed drug test was reduced to a mere reprimand. However, he remains bitter about having gone through the suspension and being branded as a cheat. Specifically, he felt like “someone who would look good to punish.”

Ultimately, Barnett wanted his release mainly to cut ties with USADA, the agency that has been overseeing the UFC’s drug testing procedures since 2015.

”After everything, I went through with USADA, and my vindication in that case, I don’t feel comfortable giving the control necessary to USADA that would continue my career in the UFC,” Barnett said.

Barnett re-signed with the UFC in 2013 after fighting under different promotions since his first stint with the company that ran from 2000-2002.

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