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Bellator signs heavyweight veteran Josh Barnett

Josh Barnett (EL)
Josh Barnett has joined the Bellator heavyweight division in 2019.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Josh Barnett has a new place to call home.

The former UFC heavyweight champion inked a contact with Bellator, company president Scott Coker and “The Warmaster” announced on Monday. Barnett signed the contract on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show on Monday.

Bellator has yet to announce a date and opponent for Barnett’s promotional debut.

Barnett (35-8) hasn’t fought under MMA rules since September of 2016, when he scored a third-round submission over Andrei Arlovski in the main event of UFC Hamburg in Germany.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced later that year that he had been flagged for a potential anti-doping failure. It took 16 months until an arbitrator “determined that a public reprimand was appropriate” instead of a suspension, USADA announced in March 2018.

Barnett has been active outside of the MMA world since 2016, competing in grappling and pro-wrestling matches. A veteran in the game, the former UFC, Strikeforce, Pride, Affliction, Dream and Sengoku fighter holds wins over current Bellator heavyweights Frank Mir, Roy Nelson and Sergei Kharitonov.

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