Strikeforce is back in the news, ladies and gentlemen.
To kick-start the media push for the upcoming "Overeem vs. Werdum" event on June 18 in Dallas, Texas, Strikeforce heavyweights Josh Barnett and Herschel Walker were made available for a live chat with fight fans earlier today (May 18, 2011) on the Dallas Morning News' website.
MMAmania.com was live during the chat and is bringing you the juiciest tidbits.
sam: J.Barnett what is your thoughts of Bigfoot (Silva)? Do you see him as your probable tourney final?
Josh Barnett: It's a potential that he's there, but I don't see Bigfoot at all. He wants to take his 15 minutes farther. If he has a problem with me, he can bring it up to me next time he sees me unlike any other opportunity where he hasn't.
Barnett discussed who he really thinks he'll be facing in the finals (if he advances) after the jump.
Guest: Josh, who you think will be the most dangerous person to meet in this tournament?
Josh Barnett: (Alistair) Overeem. He's got the confidence and he's got a pretty good win streak coming in. He seems to be at the peak of his career and he feels he's unstoppable right now. Derailing someone's confidence is an important part of the game.
One of the fans asked for Herschel's response to the Zuffa purchase of Strikeforce and how that effects his potential fighting future.
Rob: Herschel, how will the merger of the UFC & Strikeforce effect your future in terms of fighting? Have you had any discussion/negotiation for another fight?
Herschel Walker: No, it doesn't affect my future in terms of fighting. I'm happy to see that because guys get more opportunity and the public gets to see great fights. If they come together people are going to see more talent. This is the old Don King term, only in America. You see a sport putting the best against the best. You don't see it in boxing. That doesn't happen anymore. In the MMA world, you see that.
The heavyweight landscape is changing drastically as a new guard comes in replacing the great mainstays of the sport like Nogueira, "Cro Cop" and Emelianenko. One fan asked for Barnett's take on the current state of MMA's heavyweight division and what he sees going forward.
Casey: Josh - It seems that within the HWT division specifically, experience is starting to matter less and less. What is your take on the new generation (some older, yet newer like Hershel) who seem to be doing well?
Josh Barnett: That's a good question. I think the system is understood. People understand how to win fights with the unified rules out there. Everyone is fighting through the same areas. I think MMA is about the better athlete I've seen skills go out the window. It's easier to be a better athlete and out-athlete your opponent. I have 14 years of experience under my belt, most of these guys don't have that. They won't be able to do the things I can do in 4-5 years. That goes for every sport. But I am going to bring some of that back. The one thing I want to see is an emphasis on finishing. That includes submission work and going out for the kill. No one wants to see guys go out at win decisions.
This question was just too funny not to include.
Chuck: Herschel, if you could fight anyone from your season of Celebrity Apprentice, who would it be?
Herschel Walker: What I would like to do, I would rather fight two guys in one night. Clint Black and Dennis Rodman in one night. It would be unfair for me to fight one of them. I would kill both of them.
The former Heisman trophy winner also discussed Mark Coleman calling him out.
KC: Herschel, What did you make of Mark Coleman recently saying he'd love to fight you?
Herschel Walker: Someone told me about it today. It was nice. I thought it was cute. I watched him fight a couple years ago. My mother's church needs an air conditioner. I promised Oak Cliff bible fellowship $100,000 dollars in the next two years. A fight would help a lot. If Mark wants to contribute that would be nice.
Yours truly even participated, attempting to get to the bottom of Barnett's recent buddy-buddy relationship with Dana White, but I was met with some of "The Baby-Faced Assasin's" infamous sarcasm.
Brian Hemminger: Question for Barnett, how exactly did you go about burying the hatchet with UFC President Dana White? I'm sure a lot of people would like to know that.
Josh Barnett: Well it started off. I had flowers sent to him anonymously for a month and a half. I would attach messages saying, I miss your face. It's not the same without you by my side. One day I had a box of chocolates and a teddy bear and inside the teddy bear was a special message for him. I can't repeat it. By the time the summit came around I heard the song reunited playing in the background. Our duet album will drop this fall.
The question that sparked the most discussion from the fighters was from an uninformed fan who doesn't "get" MMA. Walker and Barnett both shined in response.
Franklin: Do you find what you do to be savage violence? Are you concerned what that says to your young audience?
Josh Barnett: At its core, competition is competition. All competition borders on some violence or savagery. They're just the most tame versions of war we can create. For me, I am fed by flame and nourished by death. I thrive on violence. That's why I am a fighter. I have other ways to apply myself. But I may have born in the wrong era.
You need to be at least an idiot savant to be successful. It isn't blind or mindless. Humanity as violence in its core. It's part of what makes humanity humanity. To depress it, it would cause a backlash of sorts. It's controlled and focused. I am ready to die when I fight. There is nothing better than to go out on your shield rather than a pointless, thoughtless death that happens every day.
Herschel Walker: I have an 11-year-old and I explain what the sport is. I don't this is as violent as football or boxing. There are more injuries in those sports. We have to help people understand what MMA is. They see blood and they just assume it's a violence sport. You can bleed just because you get a cut and you're warm. Just because a guy is cut, the guy might not be injured. One of the things we hate as Americans is we hate blood. But it is a chess match between two individuals that have to be intelligent. You can be a brute and win sometimes.
What are your thoughts, Maniacs?
Is Barnett doing a good job of attempting to repair his tarnished image?