I’m beginning to like Josh Barnett again.
I hate to say it. Josh Barnett is entertaining, and when he wants to be, sincere. His promo at the end of the Open Workouts for Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum was spectacular. If you look past the obvious humor of the WWE/F type wrestling and promo he cut, have the ability to listen to what he’s saying, some sincerity, fear, and dare I say humility leaks through.
Because of that video alone, I want Barnett to win the GP, follow that up with winning the Strikeforce HW belt, then fight and win the UFC HW belt. In the process, becoming the greatest HW in MMA history. All because he chose to cut a professional wrestling promo at the open workouts instead of doing the same ol’ song and dance.
Barnett’s troubles have been published again and again. Dissected dissected again, analyzed, blah, blah, blah….You get the picture. He is often credited with the demise of Affliction (new info makes this accusation seem highly unlikely) due to his 3rd failed drug test in his multi year career. Vilified, demonized and criticized endlessly (due to some spectacularly bad choices by Barnett). I won’t say I haven’t been one of the fans to do just this. I have a pretty strict rule on PED’s, holding submissions/strikes after the bell, and making weight. If you F23k one of those up, you Sir, are not good at your job.
With this in mind, it surprises me to say, my stance on Barnett is softening. Well, melted away is a better description. I no longer want him to lose on principle alone (1 more failed drug test and I’m gonna be calling for his banishment from MMA) nor do I want him ousted from Strikeforce, barred from the UFC nor made an example of by the CSAC. Now, all I want is to see Josh Barnett fighting every 3 months, doing interviews, and cutting spectacular promos.
Here’s to you Josh Barnett, winning the GP.