MMA HEAVYWEIGHT SUPERSTAR JOSH BARNETT SIGNS WITH STRIKEFORCE
NEW YORK (Sept. 13, 2010) – Two-time champion and top world-ranked heavyweight superstar Josh “The Babyfaced Assassin” Barnett has signed a multi-fight agreement to compete for world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion STRIKEFORCE.
“STRIKEFORCE is the home of the best heavyweight division in the world and I’m proud to be able to call it my home now,” said the 32-year-old Barnett (29-5), an expert in catch wrestling who hails from Seattle, Wash.
“I’m looking forward to competing amongst the greatest fighters in the world and fighting my way to another world title.”
The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Barnett became the youngest UFC champion in history at age 24 when he scored a second-round TKO (4:35) on MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture in Las Vegas, Nev., on March 22, 2002. In his sixth career fight, Barnett submitted wrestling and MMA legend Dan “The Beast” Severn with an armbar in the fourth round (1:21) in Hawaii.
In addition to his achievements in America, Barnett has spent a good portion of his career competing in top tier promotions overseas, including the now defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships in Japan where he notched memorable victories over the likes of Aleksander Emelianenko, Mark Hunt and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. On Oct. 21, 2006, Barnett took part in PRIDE’s first event on U.S. soil, submitting Pawel Nastula with a toe hold in the second round (3:04) at Las Vegas’s Thomas & Mack Center.
In 2008, Barnett competed in another Japanese promotion, Sengoku. After submitting (heel hook) Hidehiko Yoshida in Tokyo on March 5, 2008, Barnett returned to action on May 18, 2008, and earned a unanimous decision over top-ranked rival and fellow American Jeff “The Snowman” Monson.
Barnett signed an agreement to compete in Japan’s DREAM promotion earlier this year. Last March 22, he made his debut with the organization, submitting former K-1 tournament champion and devastating power puncher, “Mighty Mo” Siligia, with a kimura at 4:41 of the first round.
On July 10, Barnett followed up the strong showing with a first-round TKO (punches) over Geronimo dos Santos in the main event of a fight card in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
About STRIKEFORCE STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com ) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its "Shamrock vs. Gracie" event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose's HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with "Shamrock vs. Gracie." In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose. In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network. The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.