Trainer tells UFC 168’s Josh Barnett he’s on his last run


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

josh-barnett-ufc-168Hardcore fans have followed Josh Barnett on a world tour of MMA promotions he’s worked for since leaving the UFC in 2002.

Barnett (33-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC), 36, has fought in every major show in addition the industry-leader, and a few minor ones, as well. He’s fought world-class competition, fading stars, and a few guys who probably didn’t deserve to be in the cage with him.

But now is the time for the former UFC heavyweight champ to seize opportunity, according to his longtime trainer. In fact, it might be the last time.

“I told him, ‘This is your last run,’” Erik Paulson told MMAjunkie Radio in advance of Barnett’s fight with Travis Browne (15-1-1 MMA, 6-1-1 UFC) tonight at UFC 168, which airs on pay-per-view from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Paulson, an MMA pioneer who’s worked with Barnett for more than a decade, made his statement as the fighter contemplated signing a contract with the UFC earlier this year.

Before he mended fences and signed a multi-fight deal, Barnett’s relationship with the promotion was a well-known roadblock to his octagon return. UFC President Dana White was hardly a fan of the fighter, who in 2002 was stripped of the UFC title after testing positive for steroids. Barnett, in turn, dismissed the executive.

It’s taken mere months to turn things around, however. Barnett stole the show at the press conference for Saturday’s event, cracking jokes about his veteran status and his preparation for Browne. White was among those laughing.

The public relations push means little, though, if the veteran fighter can’t capitalize on opportunity. He is in the running for a heavyweight title shot and could be one fight away from fighting champ Cain Velasquez if he’s able to beat the younger Browne tonight.

Paulson told Barnett he’s got to make the best of his time.

“I just told him you have to make a statement,” Paulson said. “When you fight, everything you have to do, everything has to be absolute. You’ve fought so long, you should be able to surgically dissect every single one of these fighters you’re up against because you have a ton of knowledge, a lot of skill, you’re smart, and you have a lot of aggression.”

That’s exactly what he brought to the table when he returned to the octagon at UFC 164, where he battered ex-champ Frank Mir en route to a first-round TKO win. There were other motivating factors to help, as well.

“Apparently Frank said something that upset Josh that I think it had to do with (his opinion that) Josh [had] a padded record,” Paulson said. “Josh really took it to heart. That’s why he was so angry and pissed off.”

Barnett isn’t wound up on a personal level for Browne, but Paulson said the fighter is as well-prepared as he could be to win tonight.

Barnett has served stints at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado, the Air Force Academy, and the Henry Tillman Championship Boxing Club, in addition to his work at Paulson’s gym, Combat Submission Wrestling.

“We have one of our fighters, he’s 6-foot-7 or 6-foot-8, and he’s perfect (to emulate Browne),” Paulson said. “He’s basically what we’re going to be dealing with as far as length and reach goes. We have someone for each aspect of the game, which is the striking, the clinching, and the ground.

“What happens is [Barnett] likes to learn martial arts. There’s a lot of cool stuff that he could implement, so we have a lot of good resources to draw from.”

Barnett will need them all to match the explosive Browne, who knocked out Alistair Overeem with a front kick in his previous performance.

Paulson, though, is confident that Barnett might the right choice to come back, and that “The Warmaster” is right where he needs to be.

For more on UFC 168, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 29 days ago
  • 46 views

Antonio Silva is clearly angling for a UFC fight with fellow veteran heavyweight Josh Barnett, though it appears to be doing little good.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 29 days ago
  • 45 views

Josh Barnett talks about competing at Metamoris 4, his return to UFC and his new show. more

  • 28 days ago
  • 26 views

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 more

  • 28 days ago
  • 43 views

Sorry Silva, but you're not going to be making any money or gain any further notoriety at the expense of "The Warmaster." Josh Barnett may not know when his busy schedule will allow him to step foot back inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon, but one thing is certain, it won't be against Antonio Silva. "Bigfoot" recently expressed his desire to settle his beef with "The Warmaster" once the Brazilian finishes serving his nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone levels. Ba more

  • 28 days ago
  • 30 views

Antonio Silva felt disrespected by Barnett's quotes about him, and says he laughed off the "Warmaster's" reasons to refuse his challenge. Antonio Silva became unhappy with Josh Barnett's disregard over the challenge from the Brazilian heavyweight. While the former UFC champ said that this possible bout would have no value for him, Silva thinks differently and told Combate.com that he sees no logic in Barnett's arguments and laughed them off. It's funny of him to say this. Made me laugh he saying more

  • 28 days ago
  • 36 views

The week's most interesting bits from the MMA and UFC twitter world. A few updates on what's been going on in the MMA & UFC Twitterverse -- There's a ton of tweets below, but first, don't forget to follow me on twitter and instagram: @antontabuena Oh, and these guys are probably worth following as well: The Official BloodyElbow Twitter Account, Kid Nate, Brent Brookhouse, Richard Wade, Chris Barton, D.E.O, Scott Broussard, Tim Burke, Matt Bishop, Fraser Coffeen, Dallas Winston, KJ Gould, Ben Tha more

  • 28 days ago
  • 36 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Josh Barnett is taking a break from his feud with Butthurt Bigfoot Silva to debut his new podcast, "Josh Barnett Conquers The World." Episode one features women's bantamweight Shayna Baszler, who talks about her upcoming fight against Bethe Correira at UFC 176 this August (more on that here), as well as her pro wrestling shtick. For more on "The Warmaster's" eventual return to the Octagon click here. Video: Josh Barnett Conquers The World (Shayna more

  • 27 days ago
  • 33 views

Josh Barnett doesn’t seem interested in fighting Antonio Silva, but "Bigfoot" won’t give up the idea. Barnett said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that fighting the Brazilian would give him money and attention and he wouldn’t try "to help this guy." Silva fired back, and he thinks that the real reason why the former UFC heavyweight champion won fight him is because he’s scared. "I woke up this morning and saw his interview," Silva told MMAFighting.com. "He’s giving excuses because he’s scare more

  • 26 days ago
  • 47 views

The Silva/Barnett war-of-words doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Antonio Silva wants to throw down with Josh Barnett inside the Octagon, but "The Warmaster" isn't interested, as he has his sights set on bigger and better fights, ones that actually make sense. Plus, Barnett doesn't want "Bigfoot," a guy he isn't too fond of, to make any make any money or gain further ground in mixed martial arts (MMA) at his expense. But according to an amused Silva, Barnett's reason for not accepti more