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Josh Barnett: Brock Lesnar hasn't gotten any better since knockout loss to Alistair Overeem

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Five years is a really long time to be away from a physically and mentally taxing sport like mixed martial arts (MMA).

But hey, Brock Lesnar is a "one in a million athlete" and will give it a go when he returns to the Octagon to face Mark Hunt in the co-main event of UFC 200 on July 9, 2016 at the brand new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (details). UFC heavyweight contender Josh Barnett, however, doesn't believe the fight world is going to see an improved Lesnar in "Sin City."

That's because "The Warmaster," who also entered his name in the Lesnar sweepstakes, told The MMA Hour he isn't convinced Brock has done much -- if anything -- to improve or add to his MMA arsenal since getting stopped by Alistair Overeem way back at UFC 141.

His words (via MMA Fighting):

"I wanted it because he's a professional wrestler and so I am. I wanted it because after five fights, they tried to say he was the No. 1 heavyweight in the world, which I thought was insulting to all of us. Not that he wasn't talented, not that he didn't have the potential to be far better than he ever was able to really show out there with such a young career, but it just felt like utter and absolute propaganda, and it was upsetting that there were media outlets that were supposed to be top of the pops that bought it. And then there's also the fact that he had an open invitation to come to CSW and train with us all the time in between fights and to prepare and grow as a fighter and never took us up on it. [He] never came out, never seemed to take the time in between his fights to become a much better fighter. And I felt like, ‘Well, that was part of the reason why his last couple fights went the way they did.' I don't know what he's done from then until now, but being out of it as long as he has, I don't think he's going to be stepping into the cage a better fighter than he was when he left."

Win, lose, or draw, Lesnar's impact on the success of UFC 200 will be felt, regardless if he shows improvement or not.

Just ask Daniel Cormier.

Of course, it's not like Brock is returning to MMA full time, as his appearance at the monumental pay-per-view (PPV) event will likely be a one-time thing, as he is fully expected to resume his professional wrestling career with WWE after July 9.

So if Barnett wants his shot at Lesnar, he may want to see if UFC is willing to loan him out to WWE for a one-time appearance. It seems the promotion is all about that sort of stuff these days.

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