Monday, September 13, 2010

STRIKEFORCE signs former UFC star Josh Barnett

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.
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