Josh Barnett Signs with Dream

March 2, 2010

Damon Martin of MMAWeekly reports that former UFC heavyweight champion and Pride contender Josh Barnett has signed with Japanese promotion Dream and is looking to return to fighting on March 22nd.

Former UFC, Pride and Affliction fighter, Josh Barnett, has found a new home in Japan as the heavyweight stand-out has signed with Dream and will likely make his promotional debut at their March 22 show later this month.


The signing was confirmed by sources close to the situation to late Monday evening, and the promotion is expected to announce Barnett’s addition in the coming days.

Payout Perspective:

We’ve seen a lot of fighter movement in the heavyweight division lately; talent is being scooped up left, right, and center as seemingly more and more players enter the market. It’s surprising in a way, because the UFC has and continues to be so dominant, while its competition has struggled in places. Nonetheless, with Barnett, Arlovski, and even the likes of Konrad off the market, additional heavyweight talent is at a premium.

Barnett failed to show for his latest hearing with the California State Athletic Commission on February 22nd, which was scheduled to sort out the issue of his second positive test for steroids. It’s unlikely that any American commission would have granted him license to fight, and therefore Japan was really his only option.

There’s now renewed talk of a match-up against Fedor, but the financial and legal implications of the fight will likely prevent it from happening; that being that Fedor stands to make more money fighting in Strikeforce under a co-promotional agreement, while Barnett cannot fight in US because of his test. The more likely scenario, if there’s to be a super fight at all, is that we see Barnett face Overeem in a Dream-promoted contest later this year.

6 Responses to “Josh Barnett Signs with Dream”

  1. Jose Mendoza on March 2nd, 2010 1:26 PM


    The one thing here we can’t overlook is that Fedor vs Barnett would be 100 times more profitable and important in Japan than it will ever be in the US. If M-1 co-promotes with DREAM to make this fight happen, they would do just fine. Ideally, this fight should take place in a Strikeforce/DREAM co-promoted event in Japan, but M-1 could do it without Strikeforce, which has something to do with the negotiations going on between M-1 and Strikeforce at the moment…

  2. mmaguru on March 2nd, 2010 5:43 PM

    Jose I think your right in saying that Fedor vs Barnett would be a big deal in Japan. It’s the only place outside of the UFC (PPV) that could do the fight.

    I’ve become a bit deluded with all this news as of late. I don’t particularly think that Barnett should be clear to fight anywhere until he gets cleared from his steroid allegations. I’m suprised he’s behaving this way and won’t face up to what he has done wrong.

    Second, I feel that it would better for Strikeforce and Fedor to part ways. Although Fedor added a lot of legitimacy to Strikeforce as a viable MMA Org, Fedor is not worth going bankrupt over. A Strikeforce with Overeem as the champ is just as appealing to the average viewer. I also think that Strikeforce have matured now to the point where they have enough stars to carry them over. Another signing ala Henderson would be good enough for their current growth rate.

  3. Mike on March 2nd, 2010 6:21 PM

    Yakuza VS. Russian Mafia, should be interesting.

  4. Brain Smasher on March 2nd, 2010 11:01 PM

    Barnett is completely washed up and that is based on the Barnett WITH roids. His striking isnt even what it was in 2001 and his sub game in real fights is non existant. He was never a good wrestler. After he loses to Fedor he can go back to his suspect “mma” fights with japanese cans and pro wrestling.

    The UFC has 2 guys i would bet on to beat Fedor. Neither of them is Lesnar

  5. mmaguru on March 3rd, 2010 4:53 PM

    Cain for sure, I can’t think of the other.

  6. Brain Smasher on March 3rd, 2010 11:56 PM

    Dos Santos. I got banned from mmaplayground for telling everyone that he would beat CroCop. I also told people on MMAtycoon he would KO Yvel in round one. Not because im a nutrider, which i am becoming a fan, but because i studied his pre UFC fights and broke down his skills, style, and abilities. Santos is a tough fight for anyone. But his weakness is a fast, mobile, boxer who can stay on his feet which isnt easy because Santos has good wrestling. Not NCAA level but much better than most BJJ guys. Out of the Frank Mir mold of wrestling ability. Also a great wrestler who can strike a little to set up the TDs. Cain may be able to do it but i question him being able to get Dos down without getting caught. I dont think Lesnar has the gas to get Dos down and mount enough offense to stop the fight and he wont last 3-5 round with Santos .

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