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Training Style“A lot of Jumping Jacks coupled with somersaults. I’ve been training with a children's tumbling school in preparation for this fight as well as a strict diet of Wendy's 99-cent menu. Joking. In actuality I’m training really hard and sitting at 255 but now around 15% body-fat. Like any fighter is gonna say anything but, "I’m training hard!" “I’m doing lots and lots of kickboxing. We run hills, do lots of plyometrics, cardio. Lots of grappling, lots of kickboxing sparring. We do a lot of Thai pad drilling. We work every facet. You’ve got to be good at everything.”
Josh trains six days a week four hours a day.
"Same old, same old. Lots of Thai pads, drilling, sparring, and ground work. Just gotta work on every piece of the game. Keep everything up to par, so wherever the fight goes, I win."
“I’m doing lots and lots of kickboxing. We run hills, do lots of plyometrics, cardio. Lets of grappling, lots of kickboxing sparring. We do a lot of Thai pad drilling. We work every facet. You’ve got to be good at everything.”
UFC HistoryAt UFC 28 Josh defeated Gan McGee by referee stoppage due to punches on the ground in 4:34 of the second round. "It didn’t go the way I thought it would. I should have come out throwing on the guy but I didn’t, for whatever reason that may be. I think it went the way it was supposed to go, so there you go."
At UFC 30 (2/23/01,) Josh lost to Pedro Rizzo by knockout at 4:21of the second round. “My match with Pedro Rizzo was unfortunate in its outcome. The way I feel about it is it was 9 minutes and 20 seconds of me completely winning a fight and 1 second of mistake. That’s all it takes and while everyone wants to give most all the credit of the fight to Rizzo, I believe it’s fairly obvious that I was clearly winning even at his own game. The plus was that it has increased my value as a fighter even though I lost. Irony I suppose.”
At UFC 32, Barnett battled the Dutch giant, Semmy Schilt, who stands at 6'11" tall. Barnett quickly took the fight to the ground and methodically worked his game. Barnett dominated positionally, and landed good strikes. Eventually, Barnett mounted Schilt and attempted an arm bar. The first attempt was unsuccessful, and Barnett ended up on his back with Schilt in his guard. Barnett quickly repositioned and locked in another arm bar, this time forcing Schilt to tap out.
UFC 34: High Voltage - Josh defeated Bobby Hoffman by submission (strikes) at 4:25 of round 2.
UFC 36: Worlds Collide - New World Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett TKO 2 (strikes - 4:35) Randy Couture
More InformationJosh wrestled in high school and started training in Judo at age 15. “My football coach was a really good Judo player and I was impressed with what he could do. He was 63 years old but he could do a flagpole, do pull-ups with two 45-pound plates between his legs. He was this short, thick Japanese guy who was really awesome so I figured it would help me all around to be a better football player and wrestler. I was going to play football in college until I got so involved in fighting.”
Josh started training in Muay Thai at 18. “One of the security guards at school was a south-east Asian guy who had done Muay Thai for quite a while. I hooked up with him. There was this Muay Thai youth camp in this church basement in down in south Seattle and I would go down there and work out with them.”
“The first UFC I ever watched was UFC 2 and I was totally blown away. I was totally stoked about Royce Gracie and grappling winning everything. I said to myself that am I going to do that one of these days. When I was training in Montana under Jim Harrison, who is considered a karate legend, but is a really well rounded guy, I was training up there in basically no holds barred fighting. He was working with me in Judo and kickboxing and letting me experiment and work with people. My goal was that I was going to be in the UFC the age of 24. I got in there by the age of 23 but it would have been 22 if it was just a little earlier so I’m ahead of schedule.”
On training with Matt Hume: “One of the guys who used to help coach me in wrestling is their web designer. He knew I was training in stuff like that so I kept in contact with him when I was in Montana. He called me 11 days before a fight and told me that they had an opening for a fight. He wanted to know if I would do it. I was on winter vacation so I trained for 11 days and came in here and choked out an AMC fighter named Chris Charnos in two minutes. From there on Matt was interested in me. From then on we started training together.”
Josh has a MMA record of 24 and 1 with victories over UFC veterans Bob Gilstrap, Bobby Hoffman, and Dan Severn. Josh was the SuperBrawl 13 tournament champion. Before the Rizzo match Josh remarked that, “Being overlooked is the story of my life. From wrestling to football to this. Maybe this will be the fight that makes people have to acknowledge me.”
On what it would mean to win the UFC World Heavyweight title: “It would mean achieving a life long goal set back (yeah way back like 4 years ago! I’m still a kid!!!) when I was 19, to be the best in the world and the UFC was where I was going to prove my mettle. Not to mention I'll have a really big gold belt to floss with at the club. Bling, bling!”
On fighting in Las Vegas: “I think it’s awesome. Vegas is a wonderful town. Some nice weather and even nicer women. Really a cool place. It makes you feel like you’ve made it.”
What are your thoughts on Randy Couture?
I think that Randy is one of the greatest Champions to ever grace the Octagon and is already chiseled in the annuals of NHB. He has been an exemplary champ and probably the coolest guy in the sport. After this fight I would love to train with him and I would work with him anytime.
What do you think is his biggest weapon?
I think that his determination and conditioning are his greatest assets. He has a very strong wrestling background and has shown that he has learned the necessary skills to fight at all levels. Still, I think that his determination and conditioning are his best weapons.
What do you think you need to do to defeat him?
Just fight well and be in shape. I feel really confident in my skills and that the world will have to take notice.
Does taking the fight on relatively short notice bother you at all?
It would have been nice to have some time to focus more on my knee and not have to worry about a fight so soon but it won't be a problem in the least.
How does it feel to be competing for the UFC Heavyweight World Championship?
It really hasn't felt any different to me yet as I take every fight deadly seriously. To me not losing is the most important thing in fighting. I can't stand to lose and whether it’s for a title or not it doesn't affect that.
Talk about your knee surgery. What was the injury? How long ago was the surgery? Are you back to 100%?
I had to have Arthroscopy on one of my knees a little while back. There was a lot of damage to the meniscus and my knee had been hammered since 2 weeks before the Pedro fight. I've needed surgery for at least my last two fights but circumstances really didn't allow it and I found ways to go on hurt. I don't know if I'm 100%, but I know for a fact that my knee is 1000 times better than in my last two fights. It'll be in top condition by the 22nd.
What is next for you if you win the title?
I’m not entirely sure but relaxing isn’t one of them. Getting the title is a great thing but it’s similar to the phrase coined by the great philosopher P-Diddy, “More money, more problems.”
What is your favorite technique?
Honestly any one that wins the fight! Other than that I'd have to say a Dragon (Full-nelson) Suplex. It’s a big Japanese pro-wrestling move. Just watch. Someday I'm going to get someone in one of those.
What is your biggest weapon in a fight?
My ability to excel at every facet of fighting. There isn't anywhere you could put me where I can't beat you. That and my mean streak.
Do you have any heroes?
I don’t have heroes but I do look up to the examples that people in my life have shown me. People that come to mind are: My father, Sensei Jim Harrison, Matt Hume, Fred Sato, Edwin Romerrosa, Haru Shimanishi. Those are only a few as there are many that have inspired me to do my best.
Who has been your biggest influence in life and fighting?
I don't have any person in particular but the combination of all those who have helped me along the way. Although one thing that drives me above all others is to be the best and nothing less. 2nd place is still losing, especially in fighting.