Veteran heavyweight star Josh Barnett has announced that he’s signed for the Bellator promotion.
“There’s a lot of opportunity with something like this. There’s great athletes,” Barnett said on the Ariel Helwani Show on ESPN. “I get to screw around with guys like Matt Mitrione and Chael [Sonnen] and to see Fedor [Emelianenko]. Hopefully I can fight Fedor, simply because I love the man. It would be great to have it done, for us to get in the ring.”
“I would love to fight Bader, but we’ll see what we can get first. There’s a lot of tender morsels over there at Bellator that I can sink my teeth into.”
The 41-year-old hasn’t fought since September of 2016 when he submitted Andrei Arlovski in the UFC.
In December of that year Barnett was flagged for a potential USADA drug violation, but he battled to prove his innocence in the years that followed and in March of 2018 USADA issued him with a public reprimand, while announcing that he had failed his test due to a contaminated supplement.
Barnett, who had twice tested positive for steroids earlier in his career, subsequently decided to leave the UFC, stating that he was doing so because he didn’t trust USADA.
Barnett joins Bellator with an overall 35-8 career record, including a 3-2 run during his second stint in the UFC.