Fight Night: 5 Things You Should Know About Josh Barnett
Photo: Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC / Contributor (Getty Images)
Josh Barnett has a new address.
The former Ultimate Fighting Championship and Pancrase titleholder on April 1 agreed to terms with Bellator MMA and immediately became a person of interest in the Scott Coker-led promotion’s heavyweight division. Barnett, 41, has not competed since he submitted Andrei Arlovski with a rear-naked choke in the UFC Fight Night 93 main event in September 2016. “The Warmaster” boasts 29 finishes among his 35 professional victories.
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In the wake of Barnett’s signing, here are five things you should know about him:
1. He walks in elite circles.
Barnett is one of 16 men who have held the undisputed UFC heavyweight championship. Arlovski, Mark Coleman, Maurice Smith, Randy Couture, Bad Rutten, Kevin Randleman, Rocco Rodriguez, Tim Sylvia, Frank Mir, Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum, Stipe Miocic, and Daniel Cormier are the others. Barnett, who at 24 years old was the youngest fighter ever to capture the crown, held the title for 126 days before being stripped following a positive test for anabolic steroids.
2. Only somebodies beat him.
The six fighters who have defeated Barnett—Cormier, Ben Rothwell, Travis Browne, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko Filipovic, and Pedro Rizzo—have 168 victories between them.
3. Submissions are his weapons of choice.
A protégé of Erik Paulson, Rigan Machado, and the late Billy Robinson, Barnett has delivered 19 of his 35 professional MMA victories by submission: five by armbar, four by rear-naked choke, three by arm-triangle choke, three by kimura, one by heel hook, one by toe hold, one by keylock and one by triangle armbar.
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4. He has plied his trade all over the MMA landscape.
Barnett has fought for 13 different promotions during his 43-fight career, including the UFC, Strikeforce, Pride Fighting Championships, Dream, Affliction, Pancrase, K-1, and Sengoku.
5. Consistency has been a strength.
Barnett has enjoyed four separate winning streaks of at least four fights. He rattled off 10 straight victories between Jan. 11, 1997 and Nov. 17, 2000, eight in a row between June 29, 2001 and May 22, 2004, four in a row between Feb. 26, 2006 and Sept. 10, 2006 and eight in a row between March 5, 2008 and Sept. 10, 2011.Find more content like this at