Josh Barnett apparently not booked for 2013 title defense in Japan


There were reports making the rounds that heavyweight Josh Barnett would be taking his talents overseas to defend his open weight title in Japan for the first time in a decade. But wait ... there's more!

Pump the brakes!

Just yesterday, eager beaver Jesse "Hulk" Holland brought you word that former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight title holder Josh Barnett would be hitting Japan to defend his open weight "King of Pancrase" championship sometime in 2013.

He was expected to do so against "any opponent the promotion wants to put in front of him."

His manager, Leland Labarr, however, disagrees. In fact, Labarr told Sherdog nothing is planned right now.

"It's not true. I guess [Pancrase] talked to Josh while [Josh] was [in Japan], and they said they would love to have him back, but there was nothing [to it]. Certainly Josh would never indicate that he was going to go fight there, and they never reached out to me. There is nothing imminent. There is nothing that we are planning on doing. I can't imagine that happening. There are no discussions, and there have been no discussions."

This leaves plenty of questions regarding Barnett's future in the fight game. Strikeforce no longer has a heavyweight division and there's been no word of the UFC knocking on his door to come back home.

Maybe Japan is ultimately where he'll end up. Just not right now.


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