When former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion Josh Barnett turned down a contract offer to fight inside the Octagon earlier this month, he also turned down a chance to fight Junior dos Santos.
According to UFC President Dana White, a match up between the two former heavyweight kingpins was in the works for Barnett's first UFC fight in over 10 years, but it all went out the window when "The Warmaster" decided he didn't want to commit to an exclusive UFC contract.
While some may conjure the story as Barnett was unwilling to sign with the UFC because a match up with "Cigano" doesn't appeal to him, White wants to quickly dismiss that notion.
"I'm sure Josh Barnett wouldn't care (who he fought)," White said in a media scrum (watch it here) following the UFC on FUEL TV 7 post-fight press conference in London. "Josh Barnett is a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy, he does his own thing, beats to his own (expletive) drum. Josh Barnett's never been a guy to say I don't want to fight this guy or I won't fight that guy. He's not that type of person."
Barnett vs. dos Santos would have been an appealing match up for a number of reasons. Barnett's wrestling and submission skills would present a difficult challenge to dos Santos. While on the flip side, dos Santos' striking ability would, just like in any fight from the Brazilian, be something for his opponent to be fearful of.
Barnett (32-6) has not made it clear what his intentions he has for his career going forward, but it's fairly clear after declining a contract offer from the UFC that he does not want to close out his storied career fighting the best in the world.
Many fans would have liked to see an elite heavyweight such as Barnett join the UFC ranks for fights against the like dos Santos, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez and all the rest. But it seems as though some things are just not meant to be.