Most of the time when the UFC signs a new fighter is can be a bit underwhelming. There aren’t many top fighters out there who aren’t currently signed with the UFC right now, so most signings end up being for prospects who might start to show some flashes of brilliance somewhere down the road, but nothing immediate. This is not the case with the UFC’s latest signing, which is none other than former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett.
Things haven’t always been easy for Barnett, who was stripped of the UFC Heavyweight title back in 2002 after winning it due to testing positive for banned substances. At the time this was a rare occurrence within the UFC and it caused a lot of friction between Barnett and the UFC, who released Josh from his contract. Josh moved on to compete in PRIDE as well as take up professional wrestling with there being no return in sight for Josh within the United States. Things changed when Affliction opened their doors in America, where he rematched Pedro Rizzo, this time overcoming him. Things were all lined up for Barnett to showdown with Fedor Emelianenko in one of the best Heavyweight bouts possible when Barnett was not granted a license in time, which led to not only the event’s cancellation, but the end of Affliction’s MMA events as a whole.
It was on to Strikeforce for him where he was a Finalist in the ill-fated Strikeforce Heavyweight GP and now, finally, after over ten years, Josh Barnett will return to the UFC. [Source: MMAJunkie]