After giving nonchalant answers regarding former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Josh Barnett returning to the organization for the past few weeks, UFC President Dana White has now opened up a bit, saying he believes a return to the Octagon for "The Warmaster" is "probably" going to happen.
Barnett (32-6) had his profile added to the UFC's official website last week, which raised some questions about his contract status. The 35-year-old defeated Nandor Guelmino at Strikeforce: "Marquardt vs. Saffiedine" earlier this month to complete the final fight of his contract, and now is fielding free agent offers.
Some believed the UFC would be hesitant to sign Barnett because of his history of failed drug tests and the lofty price tag that comes along with signing him, but at Tuesday's UFC 158 press conference in Montreal (watch it here), White expressed interest in the heavyweight contender, hinting that a deal may be in the works.
"I have not (spoken with Barnett)," White told MMAmania.com. "It's probably going to happen."
Barnett has not competed in the UFC defeating Randy Couture for the UFC heavyweight championship in March 2002. The Washington-born fighter later tested positive for banned substances, and as a result was stripped of his belt and has not competed in the organization since.
Up until recently, the thought of Barnett fighting in the UFC again seemed like fantasy, but considering White's latest comments, a return to the Octagon for the catch-wrestling specialist could be closer to a reality.