Josh Barnett was born in Seattle on the 10th day of November, 1977. He is a professional wrestler and an American Mixed Martial artist, currently fighting in Strikeforce’s heavyweight division. Barnett has achieved a lot in the MMA, winning many titles like the Championship for King of Pancrase Openweight, UFC Heavyweight title etc. In the Openweight Grand Prix in 2006 he was a finalist and currently Barnett is graded the number 3 world heavyweight fighter by the Fight!Magazine, number 4 by the MMAWeekly.com and then number 9 heavyweight fighter by Sherdog. His nickname is the Babyfaced assassin. The Erik Paulson’s Combat Submission Wrestling is where Barnett trains and wrestles for Affliction Organization.
Barnett’s Early MMA Career
On January 11, 1997 is Barnett’s first appearance in the MMA and he defeated Chris Charnos via choke. After that match, he went ahead defeating fighters in four consecutive matches before he fought with Dan Severn, the UFC Hall of Famer. The UFC invited Barnett after he defeated Severn in the fourth round through the armbar at the Super Brawl 16.
His UFC Profession:
The next five fights in the UFC made Barnett a big splash. In his first debut at the UFC he overpowered Gan McGee by technical Knockout. He lost his second match to Pedro Rizzo in the second round before shocking people with three consecutive victories in the UFC. The final victory made Barnett to become the youngest person to hold a UFC heavyweight Champion and that was at the UFC 36 by a technical knockout. He achieved this feat at age 24.
When Barnett tested positive for steroids after the Couture fight, he was stripped of the heavyweight title. This happened the same year. Though Barnett denied ever using the banned substance during his hearing, his license was suspended temporarily.
Barnett still proved himself by winning five consecutive matches in Japan while moonlighting as a professional fighter in New Japan Pro Wrestling Organization after his suspension. In this event was when foremost mixed martial arts organization came calling for him save UFC.
Barnett wrestled with superstar Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic where he dislocated his shoulder and suffered a fracture. This made him go for a surgery and stay six months in hospital for rehabilitation. In his return bout he however, lost to Cro Cop. He recorded a 6-3 in his PRIDE days and defeated the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Hunt, Hidehiko Yoshida, Aleksander Emelianenko and Pawel Nastula.
Barnett’s fighting technique is excellent. He is of the catch wrestling background. He has wonderful takedowns, submissions from top position, takedown defense, and guard submissions. He has improved in his striking making his striking to be above average to this regard.
Barnett tested positive again to a banned substance on the 22nd of July, 2009. Tom Atencio, Affliction head man told the MMA FanHouse. He was scheduled to fight against Fedor Emelianenko in this match but because of the incident, the fight was however cancelled.
Barnett’s talent cannot be underestimated as a fighter.