Josh Barnett on Rankings, Nelson, Mir, & 160 HW picks


The UFC just got a whole lot more metal with the signing . It's a contract we've all been waiting for, and now that it's happened, arm chair matchmakers are lining up the likely suspects in anticipation of the Warmaster taking them out, one by one. There are some great matches to be made, but one name stands out from the bunch, the man that should be first in line, and that's.

As a long time fan of Barnett, one of the things I look forward to, aside from the actual fight possibilities, is seeing him in the official rankings. I recently had the good fortune to land the first interview with Josh, post signing, and got his thoughts on some of the current heavyweights (including Mir), his picks for some of the fights coming up this weekend, and where he feels he is ranked. Here's what he had to say:

First opponent

I haven't heard anything yet. It's interesting, and I'd like to see who's got the guts, first off. At this point, it's so new, we haven't even picked the scabs off. I think everyone is basically thinking, 'Well who's left hanging around and who's ranked high enough?' At this point, I don't even know when they're going to have me get in the ring.

There's plenty of guys out there to fight, and they're going to line up whoever they think is the best and most exciting fight. I'm also pretty positive that whoever gets to be my first victim, because I don't have opponents, I have victims, is going to have to play second fiddle to me, after everything that has gone on between the UFC and myself over the years, and me finally being back and stepping into the cage.

Frank Mir

Here's the thing. I'm made out of titanium, mixed with adamantium, so I don't rust. Frank Mir, for lack of a better term, his ranking or anything else, is inconsequential to me. His name has just been thrown across my plate so many times. Many people have made mention of how much they want to see that fight. I guess it's about time, but it's not up to me. I only call people out because I see them as future opponents. If I want to fight somebody, I'll just go knock on their door and say, 'Hey, when you're done with dinner, why don't you go stretch out, put your mouth piece in and get your ass kicked.' Otherwise, I have to wait and see if he agrees to it, the management, and if the promotion likes the fight - that has a lot to do with it.


Well, I'd be in a ranking class of one for most awesome ever of all time cool guy. That's a different league. It's a whole different parameter, so in that, I stand alone. It's kind of difficult [laughs].

I just go out there and fight. I like to have the rankings and all the numerics and everything left alone for all the diehard MMA fans. They're the ones to get around and chat and argue and start feuds that will last for centuries upon centuries over whether he though Joe Blow should have been seventh in the rankings.

I just want to get in there and mix it up with those guys. It's not going to take me much time at all to sort out where I sit. If all that's left is a bunch of broken bodies, then I guess I'm the only one that can be ranked.

How a fight with rony nelson would Shake Down

I think I could out shake him. I think I've got a good wiggle in my backside, and I'm pretty proficient at shaking my tail feathers. I like my chances against Roy in that case.

Roy's a tank. I think he's really settled into who he is as a fighter at this point. I think he knows his limitations and his strengths very well, and that's what's made him successful. I'm not going to call him a gatekeeper, because I think he fights the fights that he's given. He's not fighting the typically ranked opponents now, but he does fight the big fights when he gets himself in the position.

He's a deadly dude with a big right hand and a bigger, uh, love and appreciation of the finer gourmet of life. It would be alright to get in there with someone with worse abs than me, and that is something I really look forward to [laughs].

Repping Catch Wrestling on a Bigger Platform with the UFC

That's my job all the time, with everything I do competitive wise and in terms of martial arts. Being in the UFC doesn't really add or detract anything from that. It's a 24 hour, seven day a week job. It's the sort of thing where when you ARE something, you don't have to tell people. You just ARE it.

I'm a catch wrestler. I'm a professional wrestler. If you know me, my life reflects as such.It'll be nice to go out there and have the other shooters and catch guys see me succeed and to see the art be put into play in a modern environment. It'll bring a little smile to my face as an added bonus.

More from MMA Fighting

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.