, the three-time loser in American steroid testing who has taken refuge in Japan, returned to mixed martial arts for the first time in 14 months Monday at Dream.13
, fighting Mighty Mo
. Things did not go well.
Mo actually hurt Barnett with a left hook in the first minute of the fight. Barnett recovered after that and they stood and traded shots, and two and a half minutes into the fight Barnett (who was wearing wrestling shoes) hit Mo in the groin with a right front kick, causing Mo to crumple to the canvas. There was a ridiculously long delay during which Mo laid on the ground in pain, then sat on a stool while surrounded by Dream officials, as Barnett stood in the corner and no one seemed to know what was going on.
At one point, after the fight had already been delayed by 13 minutes, Barnett walked across the ring and approached one of the officials.
"He can hit me in the balls back right now," Barnett offered, "It's OK."
Eventually, a full 15 minutes after Mo went down, the fight resumed. It didn't take long for Barnett to take Mo down, start to twist his arm, and force Mo to tap out. After the fight Barnett offered Mo a free kick to his groin, and Mo took it, although he didn't kick Barnett nearly as hard as Barnett had kicked him during the fight.
The win improves Barnett to 25-5, but it does nothing to advance his MMA career. The bottom line is that Barnett has the talent to be a great fighter, but he's stuck in Japan fighting mediocre opponents because he refuses to follow American rules against performance-enhancing drugs. What a shame.