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Josh Barnett Signs With Strikeforce

Josh Barnett, who over the past 14 months has slipped from No. 2 heavyweight in mixed martial arts to barely even relevant -- without even losing a fight -- has signed with Strikeforce in an attempt, at age 32, to get some meaningful fights while he still can.

"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," Barnett said. "I'm looking forward to competing amongst the greatest fighters in the world and fighting my way to another world title."

The first question MMA fans will ask (other than whether Barnett really believes Strikeforce's heavyweight division is better than the UFC's) is whether this means the long-awaited fight between Barnett and Fedor Emelianenko can finally become a reality. An August 1, 2009 fight between Barnett and Fedor was scheduled to be the main event for an Affliction pay-per-view, but when Barnett failed a performance-enhancing drug test, the event (and the entire Affliction promotion) was scrapped.

Now that Fedor has lost, a Barnett-Fedor battle has lost a lot of luster, but it would still be a worthy main event on a Strikeforce card. Throw in Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, Antonio Silva, Brett Rogers and Andrei Arlovski, and Strikeforce has a number of big heavyweight fights it can book, at least in theory.

Whether Strikeforce actually follows through and books those big fights is another question. But the addition of Barnett has the potential to be big.