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Josh Barnett on leaving the UFC: ‘It’s not my story’

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Arlovski vs Barnett Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Barnett has penned a lengthy letter explaining why he’s decided to leave the UFC.

After a year and a half of battling with USADA over a failed drug test, Barnett emerged from arbitration completely vindicated. Not only did the arbitrator agree that Barnett’s positive test for ostarine was the result of a tainted supplement, they pushed back against the USADA’s attempt to double the length of Barnett’s suspension over a non-USADA drug test from 2009.

USADA was pushing for a four year suspension. In the end, the arbitrator decided a reprimand and no suspension was more appropriate. So it should be no surprise that Josh’s new letter continues to exhibit a significant amount of distrust towards USADA. But it also details his desire to switch things up after five years of same old UFC.

The UFC has a structure in place to create their stories, their way, and it’s a good way, but it’s not my way – it’s not my story. The call for adventure is still within me, and I wish to exercise it. I long to go back more to the way of the early days of MMA, traveling the world to exotic places fighting in different rules, rings or cages or who knows what, fighters that have been under the radar; the unknown. There are so many athletes and places that I want to fight, and by going my own way, I will have the ability to try and create that story and make these opportunities a reality, a reality I wouldn’t have been able to make if I stayed in the UFC.

Posted by Josh Barnett on Sunday, June 24, 2018

As for USADA?

I cannot in good conscience trust them to act in good faith or perhaps may even wish to look to enact some sort of vengeance in an attempt to cancel out my victory against them in arbitration. It’s not the kind of environment that I want to spend the final years of my career in.

As sad as it is that Josh won’t be battling it out with UFC heavyweights any more, we look forward to seeing him pop up in random fight promotions around the world.

Read the full letter here.

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