A pro since 1997 and a veteran of 40 official bouts, Barnett says it's becoming more difficult to find matchups that interest him.
While he feels he was able to settle a bit of a score when he TKO'd former heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC 164, Barnett says he just wasn't motivated going into his UFC 168 bout with Travis Browne in December 2013. He hasn't fought since.
"I wasn't into my last fight, to be honest," Barnett told UFC commentator Joe Rogan. "I didn't care. I just wasn't 'up' for it. I trained and it got to a point where I was just like, 'I'm over this. Who is [Travis Browne]? If I beat him, what does that do? Then I get to fight another guy and another guy? Where am I going with this?' I'm not going to climb this f***ing ladder to prove that I deserve to fight for a title. I can fight for a title against anyone in any league, anywhere, anytime. F***in', I'm a world championship level guy.
"I don't need to prove that I belong here. I fought 'Travis Browne's' all my career. They just had a different name at a different point in life. They had the same type of skillset. They're basically the same type of guy. There will be another Travis Browne when Travis Browne is done being Travis Browne."
Barnett isn't focused exclusively on contendership level fights, but says he needs to fight only when he's properly motivated.
Admitting he "didn't care" heading into the fight with Browne, Barnett says a rematch would be a different story.
"Here's the difference," said Barnett. "If I fought Travis now, I'd want to take his f***ing head off. He disrespected me in the ring after the match, all this s**t. He f***ing cut his throat, he did all this stuff. That's my thing. He did it to mock me for winning.
"I'm just like, 'Dude, I've been nice to you and respectful to you from day one. You go ahead and get a win on me, great, this is your moment to say what you want to say and what you want to do is try to f***in' put me down after you win?"
Barnett says he also didn't care for how "dismissive" Browne was of him during post-fight interviews.
"Me? I don't have any reason to be a f***ing prick, especially after I win. But, you know what, a guy wins, he feels like he's on top of the world, that's when you're going to say some s**t like that, when you're going to act out.
"If that's the way it's going to be, awesome. If we rematch it's not going to be the same dude you fought that night. You have no idea. You really don't get it. You will get your ass handed to you because now you gave me a reason to want to kick your ass."
Saying he doesn't believe Browne has what it takes to ever be a UFC champion, Barnett says he knows exactly how to exploit the holes in 'Hapa's' game.
"For one, I would make him pay for all the big mistakes he makes all the time," said Barnett. "He's constantly whiffing, throwing the biggest shot. That kid has no stamina because he will always go for the kill in everything he does. Now, that makes him very dangerous to a heavyweight, because he's athletic and has some power. But that's why [Fabricio Werdum] took him out. He's missing with all his big s**t and he's getting picked apart and picked apart and hung on and hung on and grabbed and separated and picked apart.
"I mean, why is Werdum beating you on the feet? He's trying to swing for the fences constantly. That's why he's gassed in every one of his big fights. Any fight that's got any distance to it, he's gassed. Why? Because that's the type of fighter he is. Does that make him a bad fighter? Not necessarily. I would say it doesn't. It's just, that's who he is. But that's also why I think he will never be a UFC champion because there's a finesse that he doesn't possess."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Five more years. Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva says he plans to fight next year and for years to come. 'I already have my schedule for the next five years. If we can fight more, two or three times a year, it's better.'
Super. Ben Fodor talks about the rise of Phoenix Jones, fighting crime and leaving a legacy in MMA. 'Because when it's all done, my life is so awkward and so weird that if I don't accomplish something great, I'm just another crazy person.'
UFC 189 world tour embedded episodes 6 and 7.
McGregor talks past thoughts of leaving MMA.
Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor have a weird, tense interview on OTR.
More vlogs from Cerrone's BMF Ranch.
Luke Thomas is still pissed, this time about Mayweather-Pacquiao tickets, bracketologists, and the Apple watch.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannamma) March 29, 2015
So much beef.
Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) March 29, 2015
@BensonHenderson were gonna fight don't worry! No need to ask everyone. Ill be your huckleberry!! Just be ready when that date is set!!— Michael Johnson (@FollowTheMenace) March 29, 2015
Hey @TheRock , tnx for picking up the tab at lunch. Next time send over desert you cheap prick.— Chael Sonnen (@sonnench) March 29, 2015
@thefrankmir what are you doing this summer? You got plans for these dates yet? June 20th June 27th July 11th in free I'll block them off— Todd Duffee (@ToddDuffee) March 30, 2015
Felice Herrig (@feliceherrig) March 29, 2015
Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) March 29, 2015
Ross Pearson (@RossTheRealDeal) March 28, 2015
Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) March 29, 2015
Get well soon.
Wanna thank everyone for sending good vibes. Those close to me know this will only make me work harder! I have a new purpose. #familyman— Paul Felder (@felderpaul) March 29, 2015
DO NOT LOOK.
Got a hole in my back so no training for a bit GRRRR injuries really sucks big floppy donkey doodle pic.twitter.com/Kb0NO86HrY— Ben 'Manimal' Wall (@BenWallMMA) March 29, 2015
Staying busy while on vacation and injured. But it's not often you get to train at Canelos gym.... https://t.co/BXBVRxmIFM— Ryan Benoit (@BabyfaceBenoit) March 29, 2015
Dana White (@danawhite) March 30, 2015
Got him again.
Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) March 29, 2015
Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) March 29, 2015
Announced this weekend (March 27-29 2015)
Drew Dober vs. Efrain Escudero at UFC 188
Gabriel Benitez vs. Clay Collard at UFC 188
Wendell Oliveira vs. T.J. Waldburger at UFC Fight Night: Alves vs. Condit
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.