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JOSH BARNETT JOINS STRIKEFORCE

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Here in Chicago, the last time we saw Josh Barnett was at Bellator 14 when he was cornering Felice Herrig. Maybe the next time we see him it will be inside the cage doing battle.

The two-time champion and top world-ranked heavyweight known as “The Babyfaced Assassin” has signed a multi-fight agreement to compete for world championship STRIKEFORCE.

“STRIKEFORCE is the home of the best heavyweight division in the world and I’m proud to be able to call it my home now. I’m looking forward to competing amongst the greatest fighters in the world and fighting my way to another world title.”

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Barnett became the youngest UFC champion in history at age 24 when he scored a second-round TKO (4:35) on MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture in Las Vegas, Nev., on March 22, 2002.  In his sixth career fight, Barnett submitted wrestling and MMA legend Dan “The Beast” Severn with an armbar in the fourth round (1:21) in Hawaii. He holds a professional record of 29-5.

In addition to his achievements in America, Barnett has spent a good portion of his career competing in top tier promotions overseas, including the now defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships in Japan where he notched memorable victories over the likes of Aleksander Emelianenko, Mark Hunt and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.  On Oct. 21, 2006, Barnett took part in PRIDE’s first event on U.S. soil, submitting Pawel Nastula with a toe hold in the second round (3:04) at Las Vegas’s Thomas & Mack Center.

In 2008, Barnett competed in another Japanese promotion, Sengoku.  After submitting (heel hook) Hidehiko Yoshida in Tokyo on March 5, 2008, Barnett returned to action on May 18, 2008, and earned a unanimous decision over top-ranked rival and fellow American Jeff “The Snowman” Monson.

Barnett signed an agreement to compete in Japan’s DREAM promotion earlier this year.  Last March 22, he made his debut with the organization, submitting former K-1 tournament champion and devastating power puncher, “Mighty Mo” Siligia, with a kimura at 4:41 of the first round.

On July 10, Barnett followed up the strong showing with a first-round TKO (punches) over Geronimo dos Santos in the main event of a fight card in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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