Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans were disappointed last week when Josh Barnett decided against returning to the Octagon, turning down a contract offer from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
With all of the best 265-pounders in the world now under the ZUFFA umbrella, many believed it was a no-brainer for "The Warmaster" to sign on the dotted line. After all, Barnett was giving all indications that he was ready to mix it up with the big boys of the UFC and "wreck shop."
But, when the final contract offer was drafted and presented to Team Barnett, it just wasn't good enough to land the services of the former heavyweight champion.
However, according to UFC President Dana White, not all hope is lost, as he revealed the offer is still on the table for Barnett should he have a change of heart. The Las Vegas fight boss also can't help but imagine what Josh would have accomplished had he stayed with the promotion his entire career.
MMA Fighting has the word:
"It's up to him. He's a big boy. He's been around a long time. He kind of flies by the seat of his pants, anyway. I mean, even after he won the (UFC) title, imagine if Josh Barnett stayed in the UFC his whole career, what he could have accomplished, the money he could have made, and all the things that could have happened. But he's his own guy, he wants to do his own thing. I got no problem with that. I know there's an offer on the table for him. If he wants to take it, it's been offered. And if not, he's always been his own guy, anyway."
While Barnett can always head back to Japan and cash in on his popularity as a pro wrestler and MMA fighter in "The Land of the Rising Sun," fight fans would love nothing more than to have him compete at the highest level of the MMA fight game with the UFC.
And who knows, with one or two impressive wins inside the Octagon, Barnett could earn himself a shot at the heavyweight crown sooner, rather than later.