Earlier this year, Josh Barnett turned down a contract offer from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after the two sides couldn't reach a mutual understanding, or, at the very least, a contract similar to that of what the world's preeminent mixed martial arts (MMA) organization was offering former Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez.
"The Warmaster" was eager to return to his old stomping grounds and "wreck shop." Barnett once ruled the heavyweight division back in 2002 before being stripped of the title after testing positive for a banned substance following his bout against Randy Couture.
Having competed all over the world, Barnett has solidified himself as one of the better big men in the sport of MMA and still has the chops to compete with the best of the best, but before the 35-year-old signs on the dotted line for his next fight, he wants a deal that is right for him.
Barnett spoke to Bleacher Report about his current contract situation:
"For me, it's more about getting the right kind of deal done. Because if I'm not fighting, I'm okay. I can do other stuff. I've got other things to do. I've got other aspects of my career to work on and to work with. I'm okay with that. I'm going to stay in the gym and stay training and stay active in martial arts. It's not like I'm just going to drop off and all of a sudden have to get ready for a fight. What secures your future is what's on paper. That's all I can really count on. The time that it takes to get that correct is the time it's going to take."
And while the former PRIDE FC and Strikeforce heavyweight contender turned down the initial offer from his former employer, UFC, there are no hard feelings between the two -- as company president Dana White also revealed -- he simply wants to get paid what he is worth:
"I don't have any personal vendettas or anything of the sort with any of those companies. It's really just a matter of coming to terms with something I feel like is the right deal for me. I have no doubt if I'm in the UFC or Bellator or wherever, that I'm going to bring value and offers to wherever I'm at. I don't have any doubts how I would fare against anybody in the world. I've been in plenty of fights in the ring, out of the ring, and I know what I'm capable of and how good I am."
In the meantime, Barnett will be in the gym keeping his body right and his fighting skills sharp until UFC officials -- or another organization, for that matter -- come correct with their offer.
Lets just hope it doesn't take too long.