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Josh Barnett Bio

For the singer in the band Triple 8, see Josh Barnett (singer).

Joshua Lawrence Barnett (born November 10, 1977) is an American mixed martial artist and professional wrestler who competes in the Heavyweight division of the UFC. He is the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, as well as the inaugural and current Metamoris Heavyweight Champion. He has also won the King of Pancrase Openweight Championship and was a finalist in the PRIDE 2006 Openweight Grand Prix and the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Championship. Barnett claims a mixed martial arts record of "over 50-8" when both sanctioned and unsanctioned bouts are counted. He has also competed in Affliction, World Victory Road, DREAM and Impact FC.

Contents

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Mixed martial arts career
    • 2.1 Early career
    • 2.2 Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • 2.3 Pancrase and PRIDE
    • 2.4 World Victory Road: Sengoku
    • 2.5 Affliction Entertainment
    • 2.6 Post-Affliction
    • 2.7 Dream
    • 2.8 Strikeforce
    • 2.9 Return to the UFC
  • 3 Professional wrestling
    • 3.1 New Japan Pro Wrestling (2003–2004)
    • 3.2 Inoki Genome Federation (2007–2014)
    • 3.3 Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2017)
  • 4 Other endeavors
  • 5 Fighting style
  • 6 Personal life
  • 7 In wrestling
  • 8 Championships and accomplishments
    • 8.1 Mixed martial arts
    • 8.2 Submission grappling
  • 9 Mixed martial arts record
  • 10 Submission grappling record
  • 11 See also
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links

Early life

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Barnett had a troubled childhood and often got into fights. He was put into anger management programs at a young age and learned to cope with his anger by participating in athletics. Barnett attended Ballard High School, where he excelled at wrestling, football, and also trained in kickboxing. After seeing UFC 2 as a sophomore, he decided that he wanted to be a mixed martial arts fighter. Barnett had originally attended the University of Montana to play football for the school as a walk-on, but decided not to play the sport for the university. At the recommendation of an instructor at Montana, Barnett went to train at the dojo of Jim Harrison. Although he did not have the money for classes, he received training in exchange for helping with maintenance and labor at the dojo.

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

Barnett's documented professional debut was in early 1997 in Washington, competing for United Full Contact Federation. He won via rear-naked choke submission under three minutes into the fight. He would continue to dominate, reaching a 9-0 record with seven first-round stoppages and wins over future UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn, Bobby Hoffman, John Marsh, and Bob Gilstrap twice. With a 9-0 record, Barnett was invited to compete in the UFC.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Barnett made his UFC debut at UFC 28 on November 17, 2000 against 6' 10" Gan "The Giant" McGee and Barnett won via TKO in the second round. Despite suffering a KO loss in his next fight, he would bounce back and win his next two fights over 7' 0" Dutch kickboxer Semmy Schilt via armbar submission, and then received a submission win in a rematch with Bobby Hoffman. Subsequent to his win over Hoffman, Barnett tested positive for banned substances and was given a warning by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Barnett was then given a title shot for the UFC Heavyweight Championship against then-champion and future UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. He won via TKO after using the ground and pound technique and became the new and youngest-ever UFC Heavyweight Champion. However, after the bout it was revealed that he had again tested positive for banned substances and his title was stripped.

Pancrase and PRIDE

Barnett competed in MMA in both PRIDE and Pancrase in Japan. While in Pancrase, he won its Openweight Grand Prix Championship by defeating Yuki Kondo. Winning this title put him alongside the likes of Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock and Bas Rutten as one of the few fighters to be a titleholder in both Pancrase and the UFC.

In his first fight in PRIDE, at PRIDE 28 against Croatian Mirko Filipović, he suffered a simultaneous fracture and dislocated shoulder injury that required surgery and over six months of rehab. His first fight back post-injury was a rematch against Filipović at Pride 30, which he lost by a close and controversial unanimous decision. He came back with a win against Kazuhiro Nakamura at PRIDE 31.

Barnett later beat Alexander Emelianenko by an americana submission in the second round of the PRIDE Openweight Grand Prix at PRIDE Total Elimination Absolute. He submitted Mark Hunt via kimura in the first round of the Openweight Grand Prix at Pride Critical Countdown Absolute. Barnett defeated Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira by split decision in the semi finals of the Openweight Grand Prix, however he lost the final match of the PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute to Filipović on September 10, 2006, submitting after an unintentional finger poke to the eye. In a post-fight interview, Barnett explained the incident: "I opened up my guard and I grabbed his leg to go for a leg lock, and in the scramble Mirko put his hand out to post and he caught a finger deep in my right eye. And as soon as it happened I let go of the leg and grabbed my face, and I couldn't see anything at the time and I had no idea where he was and I just didn't want him to punt me in the face with a kick when I can't see and I'm blinded. He said, you know, 'Sorry' and I said to him that he was winning that night and it was an accident. He didn't mean [to do it]". This also marked the third time he was beaten by the MMA legend.

Next, Barnett fought the Polish Judo gold medalist Pawel Nastula at PRIDE 32, the organization's first show in the United States. To fight again in Nevada, the Nevada State Athletic Commission required that Barnett pass a mandatory drug test. In a surprisingly competitive match, Nastula controlled the first round and most of the second. Barnett reversed Nastula from the bottom and was able to secure a toe-hold submission, which earned him the victory. At a post-fight press conference, Barnett complimented Nastula on his performance. Nastula, however, subsequently tested positive for steroids. Barnett then lost a rematch by unanimous decision to Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira at Pride Shockwave 2006.

World Victory Road: Sengoku

After the bout against Nogueira and the acquisition of PRIDE by the UFC, Barnett did not participate in any MMA events in 2007, except one Pancrase match against Hikaru Sato, which was held under catch wrestling rules on Dec. 22. Barnett did not follow many other PRIDE veterans to the UFC because he desired to join an organization that included the top Heavyweight fighter in the world, Fedor Emelianenko. In 2008, Barnett joined the newly organized MMA promotion, Sengoku, and fought in consecutive main events at Sengoku 1 and Sengoku 2, submitting Hidehiko Yoshida with a heel hook in the third round, and defeating Jeff Monson by unanimous decision.

Affliction Entertainment

Since his contract with World Victory Road is not exclusive, Barnett was able to join other MMA events. Barnett participated in the inaugural MMA event held by Affliction Entertainment, in July 2008. Seven years after his only knockout loss to Pedro Rizzo, he avenged that loss at Affliction: Banned with a knockout of his own in the second round.

In January 2009, Barnett fought PRIDE veteran Gilbert Yvel at Affliction: Day of Reckoning. Barnett defeated Yvel by a submission resulting from strikes in the third round. His next match-up, scheduled on August 1, 2009 against Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction's 3rd event Affliction: Trilogy, was one of the most anticipated match-up between the then ranked number one Heavyweight Emelianenko and number two Heavyweight Barnett. However, the fight was officially pulled 10 days before the fight by the California State Athletic Commission after Barnett tested positive for anabolic steroids (a metabolite of drostanolone) for a second time. The event and Affliction Entertainment itself was cancelled July 24, 2009 as a result. Barnett requested that they test his "B" sample hoping there was an error in the test. His "B" sample was also positive.

Post-Affliction

Due to the positive drug tests, Barnett made a re-licensure appeal to the California State Athletic Commission(CSAC). The CSAC postponed Barnett's appeal three times. The first two postponements occurred because Barnett's law firm required additional information from the laboratory that conducted Barnett's tests. Michael J. DiMaggio, Barnett's attorney, was unable to attend the hearing because of travel problems, causing the third extension, which would have taken place 22 February 2010.

Barnett was a no-show at his hearing on February 22, 2010, making this the fourth delay in his appeal. Shannon Hooper, Barnett's manager, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that on Monday February 22, 2010 Barnett was in Japan on Sunday February 21, 2010 for a professional wrestling match and would return to the U.S. later that day. He claimed he was unaware that his presence was required, but the CSAC stated they had notified him of this months before. Barnett later signed on with MMA organization Strikeforce.

Dream

Barnett signed to fight for DREAM in 2010, and made his debut on March 22, 2010 at DREAM 13 against Mighty Mo. He won the fight via submission in the first round. During the fight, he accidentally kicked Mighty Mo in the groin so immediately after winning the fight, Barnett approached Mighty Mo apologizing for the illegal strike and in return allowed Mighty Mo to knee him in the groin.

Strikeforce

On September 13, 2010 it was announced that Josh Barnett had signed a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce.

Barnett faced Brett Rogers on June 18, 2011 at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum in the opening round of a Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament. Barnett submitted Rogers with an arm-triangle choke in the second round of the bout.

Barnett defeated Sergei Kharitonov in the semi-final of the tournament headlining Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov on September 10, 2011 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He faced fellow finalist Daniel Cormier on May 19, 2012 at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier to determine the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion. Dana White announced if Barnett were to defeat Cormier, he would be allowed back into the UFC, "If he wins the fight, I can't see why he wouldn't come [to the UFC]." Barnett lost the bout via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-45), losing for the first time in over 5 years. In January 2013, Barnett faced a promotional newcomer, Nandor Guelmino, at the final Strikeforce event. Barnett defeated Guelmino via arm-triangle choke submission in the first round.

Return to the UFC

Barnett initially declined to sign with the UFC. However, on May 21, 2013, it was announced that Barnett had returned to the UFC and signed a multi-fight contract with the promotion.

Barnett faced former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir on August 31, 2013 at UFC 164. He won the fight in the first round by knockout.

Barnett faced Travis Browne on December 28, 2013 at UFC 168. He lost the fight via knockout due to elbow strikes in the first round.

After working as a coach on Road to UFC Japan, Barnett faced Roy Nelson in the main event at UFC Fight Night 75. He won the fight via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 50-45). The win also earned Barnett his first Performance of the Night bonus award.

Barnett faced Ben Rothwell on January 30, 2016 at UFC on Fox 18. He lost the fight in the second round due to a gogó choke, resulting in the first loss due to a submission hold during Barnett's lengthy MMA career.

Barnett next faced Andrei Arlovski on September 3, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 93. He won the fight via submission in the third round, earning a Performance of the Night bonus. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night for their performance.

In December 2016, UFC was notified of a potential USADA doping violation by Barnett from an out-of-competition test.

Professional wrestling

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2003–2004)

Barnett began his overseas career as a professional wrestler in the New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) organization, where he wrestled numerous matches in 2003 and 2004. In his first match, he wrestled champion Yuji Nagata for that promotions version of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Although unsuccessful in that match, Barnett formed a tag team with Perry Saturn and was undefeated in the following NJPW tour, Fighting Spirit 2003. Barnett wrestled over 50 matches in total for the NJPW promotion.

In January 2015, Barnett began working as a color commentator for NJPW's weekly program on AXS TV.

Inoki Genome Federation (2007–2014)

Barnett debuted in Antonio Inoki's Inoki Genome Federation (IGF) wrestling promotion in June 2007 with a victory over Tadao Yasuda. He racked up victories against Don Frye and Montanha Silva before suffering his first loss against Naoya Ogawa. The same man he beat earlier in the night. Since the loss, he has been on a winning streak beating The Predator, Hitokui Yoshiki, Tank Abbott, Jon Andersen, Fonseca, Atsushi Sawada, Bob Sapp, Ultimate Mask, Tim Sylvia, Montanha Silva, Bobby Lashley and Hideki Suzuki.

Starting in February at IGF Genome 14, IGF began a title tournament to crown a new Heavyweight Champion and Barnett not only continued his winning streak but he advanced to the semi-finals of the tournament with his victory over Montanha Silva. In July at IGF Genome 16, he defeated Bobby Lashley with a cross armbreaker to advance to the finals of the title tournament. Was scheduled to face Jérôme Le Banner for the IGF Heavyweight Championship in a tournament final scheduled for August 27 at the IGF Super Stars Festival 2011. However, it was announced on August 19 that Barnett had to pull out of the match up and Le Banner was declared the first ever IGF champion on August 22. However, Josh Barnett would get his shot at the IGF Heavyweight Championship on December 2 against the champion, Jerome Le Banner. Barnett would lose the contest by knockout.

On New Year's Eve, Barnett made his return to Japan for the DREAM, "Fight for Japan" event, where he would face Hideki Suzuki in an IGF Rules match. After a wrestling clinic was put on by both athletes, it was Barnett who won with a brainbuster to seal the victory.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2017)

During the January 2017 Impact Wrestling tapings, Barnett joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), answering an open challenge from Bobby Lashley, facing him in a match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The following week on Impact!, Barnett defeated Bad Bones in his in-ring debut. The Following week on Impact Wresling, Barnett was defeated by Lashley in TNA World Heavyweight Championship match.

Other endeavors

Barnett has appeared in the Xbox 360 game Beautiful Katamari as one of the people that can be rolled up. He appears as the rare person "Wrestler" in his signature trunks and PRIDE FC gloves.

Billy Robinson had contributed immensely in training Barnett. Barnett teaches catch wrestling at Erik Paulson's CSW Training Center in Fullerton, California. He is the primary trainer and manager of female fighter Megumi Fujii and listed on the Abe Ani Combat Club's website as a team wrestling coach and friend.

Barnett competed in the California Classic 2009 BJJ Tournament on November 15, 2009. Barnett lost a decision to ADCC veteran and Brazilian jiu-jitsu World Champion Romulo Barral from Gracie Barra in the Black Belt GI Absolute division. On December 19, 2009, Paulson awarded Barnett his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Even though Barnett had never trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu he was given his belt based on competition merit and overall knowledge.

Barnett appeared as himself in an episode of the 2013 web series Black Dynamite Teaches a Hard Way!, where a Black Dynamite mannequin teaches him the consequences of littering.

In the co-main event of Metamoris 4, Barnett faced Dean Lister, a multiple-time world champion in both gi and no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Barnett became the first person in sixteen years to defeat Lister via submission, tapping Lister with a scarf hold in the waning seconds of the match.

Fighting style

Barnett defines himself as a catch wrestler. His grappling technique is based on catch, utilizing the controls, rides and pinning holds from said discipline to exert pressure over his opponent and grind him down when the fight gets to the ground. In order to finish the match, he is skilled in the aspect of lockflow or chain wrestling, in which he gets from a position to another to get a submission hold. His expertise isn't limited to the grappling field, counting also on a powerful Muay Thai game which features the ability of switch stances through the fight, confusing his opponent and strengthening Barnett's assault. Notably, Barnett has showed as well the skill of including catch wrestling elements on his striking acumen, utilizing collar ties and wrist grips to set up elbows and knees against the fence.

Personal life

In an interview on The Steve Austin Show, Barnett confirmed that he is not religious. In his spare time, he enjoys driving and repairing automobiles, preferring vintage models. He is a self-proclaimed cinephile and cites the director's cut of Blade Runner as his favorite motion picture.

He plays and is a fan of the card game Magic: The Gathering.

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves
    • Captured Buster (Capture suplex lift dropped into a vertical drop brainbuster)
    • Cross heel hook
    • Northern lights suplex, floated over into a double wristlock (TNA)
  • Signature moves
    • Ankle lock
    • Belly to back suplex
    • Capture suplex
    • Cross armbar
    • Gotch Special (Chickenwing with headscissors)
    • Guillotine choke
    • Gutwrench suplex
    • Powerbomb
    • Rear naked choke
    • Running high knee
    • Running sitout powerbomb
    • Seated crossface
    • STF
  • Nicknames
    • "The Warmaster"
  • Entrance themes
    • "War" by Bolt Thrower (IGF; June 29, 2007 – December 31, 2014)

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts

  • Pancrase
    • Pancrase Openweight Championship (1 time, last champion)
    • Two Successful Title Defenses
  • PRIDE Fighting Championship
    • 2006 PRIDE Heavyweight Grand Prix Runner-up
  • Strikeforce
    • 2013 Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Runner-up
  • Icon Sport
    • SuperBrawl 13 Heavyweight Tournament Winner
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • UFC Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • Youngest UFC Heavyweight Champion in UFC History (24-years-old)
    • Fight of the Night (1 time)
    • Performance of the Night (2 times)
  • Sherdog
    • Mixed Martial Arts Hall of Fame

Submission grappling

  • International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation
    • 2009 World No Gi Jiu-Jitsu Championship Black Belt Gold Medalist
  • International Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Federation
    • Gracie US Nationals 2010 – 206+ lb / Advanced No-Gi: 1st place
  • Metamoris
    • Metamoris Heavyweight Champion (1 time, current)
      • One successful title defense vs. Ryron Gracie

Mixed martial arts record

Submission grappling record

See also

  • List of current UFC fighters
  • List of male mixed martial artists

External links

  • Official website
  • Professional MMA record for Josh Barnett from Sherdog Edit this at Wikidata
  • Josh Barnett On The Joe Rogan Experience
  • Josh Barnett's professional wrestling match results

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