Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett has been released from his PRIDE contract and is now a free agent according to his website:
The time has finally arrived to unleash the power of pro wrestling again on the MMA world. That’s right, I am finally free from my former contract and open to hearing all offers. Great news for sure and coincidently just on the heels of my last blog explaining why I wasn’t fighting. Somewhere I think I just heard a star imploding.
Of course the first thoughts are: will I or won’t I fight in the UFC? Truthfully, I have spoken with Dana and Lorenzo recently and the UFC is well aware that I have no beef with them. There are no personal issues keeping me from signing with the UFC. I just have not received any offers from them yet.
Many have seen me on Bodog and may think I am automatically headed to or signed with them. While I have a good relationship with the promoters and have two fighters fighting next season, I have not signed any deals with Bodog.
I am looking to get back in the game and I want to be with a promotion that treats me as a valuable part of the organization. I hope I can find that kind of place this time around, not just for my sake but for all of my fans worldwide as well.
Now…who’s ready to see somebody get buried into the canvas?
UFC President Dana White was apparently unaware of the news that Barnett had been released on his contract until UFC matchmaker Joe Silva informed him according to The Fight Network:
“I’ve got some lawyers in here that would probably disagree,” said White with the news, but UFC matchmaker Joe Silva scaled the dais quickly and whispered into White’s ear.
“Barnett was released from his contract,” White then stated. “Barnett is a free agent.”
So Barnett was released from his PRIDE deal and White didn’t know about it? Maybe White isn’t involved with the whole PRIDE ordeal than we think. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened…