Josh Barnett on Antonio Silva's challenge: 'F him'


Josh Barnett is not a fan of Antonio Silva, but still has no interest in fighting him.

Well-traveled heavyweight Josh Barnett is well-known for speaking his mind, and his recent interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani was no different. The former UFC champ discussed all sorts of things from his Metamoris 4 grappling match with Dean Lister to who he'd like to face in his next trip to the octagon. While he was very complimentary of Lister and expressed a desire to fight Junior dos Santos next, one person he doesn't care for at all is Antonio Silva.

Silva went after Barnett verbally in 2011, sort of out of nowhere, when both were members of the Strikeforce roster. According to Silva, Barnett was a "filthy person". Silva recently challenged Barnett after Bigfoot's suspension is over, but Barnett was quite clear that he has no interest in that:

"I don't really care (about Silva)," Barnett explained. "Here's the thing, if you really didn't like somebody, most people think, ‘aw, well the thing is you've gotta itch for that time to get him in the cage.' Look, getting in the cage is a privilege. You're going to make money by fighting me. You're going to gain notoriety, even after I smash your face, and all I'm doing is making your life better, if you can sorta see past the face smashing.

"For me, I'm not trying to help this guy out. ... I don't like him, and I don't like the way he approached anything about what he did back in his Strikeforce days and all of that. I had never even talked about this dude. He brought up all this stuff, made this huge kerfuffle, so my response is: F him. I'm not going to help him gain any ground in any way, even by losing to me. I'm not going to get him paid. I'm not going to going to get him anything, if I can help it."

...

"It was the fact that he just started talking trash on me out of nowhere for reasons that didn't make any sense," explained Barnett. "He doesn't know me. I don't know, it was like he got super butthurt over something that didn't really make any sense -- my lack of talking to him, I guess. This isn't the Best Friend Fighting Championship. This is MMA. I don't have to be friends with everybody, but I didn't have any problem with you.

"And the funny thing was, he slags me on the mic in public, maybe 15 minutes after I had just been up there on the mic talking about how much he's improved as a fighter and continued to improve, and how impressive he was; saying basically good things, although entirely true. I didn't have to dig to find a positive thing to say about his performance against Fedor. I mean, it existed for itself. And then his very next response is to talk s--t on me. So you know what, dude, I have no understanding of where that guy comes from, what his emotional maturity really is or anything like that. But I do know, I'm not trying to help his career out. At all. Ever. Never. In fact, us even mentioning him is beyond what I'd ever do."

Well, that settles that.

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