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Josh Barnett takes movie role, delays return to Octagon

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Josh Barnett's return to UFC competition looks to be delayed once again due to a movie commitment.

It was reported Tuesday night on UFC Tonight that Barnett (33-7), who has not fought since being knocked out viciously by Travis Browne on Dec. 28, 2013, had just accepted a movie role that will make fight training impossible for the time being.

There had been talk of the 37-year-old Barnett returning to face Roy Nelson (20-11), a fight both fighters had requested. Barnett's management said that they would still like that fight, but peg Barnett's timetable in being able to return to the Octagon as late in the third quarter or the fourth quarter of this year.

Barnett feels he has unfinished business with Nelson, who first called him out three or four years ago.

The 38-year-old Nelson is coming off a loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 185 on March 14 in Dallas.

Barnett held the UFC heavyweight title briefly in 2002, beating Randy Couture, and being stripped of the title after failing a drug test and then having a contract dispute with the UFC. Much of his prime was spent in Japan, here he was one of the top tier heavyweights.

During his career he placed second in both the 2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix, losing the final to Mirko Cro Cop, and in the 2011-2012 Strikeforce Grand Prix, losing in the finals to Daniel Cormier.