Strikeforce Announces Signing Of Josh BarnettFormer UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh “The Babyfaced Assassin” Barnett has officially signed with Strikeforce. The promotion announced the acquisition earlier today. Barnett was previously one of the top heavyweight free agents in MMA, but his career has been marred by steroid scandals.

Barnett joins an increasingly impressive heavyweight division in Strikeforce that features fellow ex-PRIDE stars Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum, current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair “Demolition Man” Overeem and former world number one “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko.

Barnett (29-5-0), who became the youngest UFC Heavyweight Champion in history when he stopped Randy “The Natural” Couture at UFC 36, is as well known for his skills inside the ring as for the various controversial issues that have plagued his career outside of it. Barnett departed the UFC following his title win after a positive test for steroids; later revealed to be the second time that he had tested positive. He made a name for himself in Pride Fighting Championships and came within one victory of becoming the 2006 PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix Champion.

Among Barnett’s biggest victories are 2006 wins over Aleksander Emelianenko and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira in PRIDE, as well as a 2008 decision win over Jeff “The Snowman” Monson under the Sengoku banner. An incredible 24 of Barnett’s victories have come by way of stoppage, with 17 submissions to his credit. He has won six straight fights since losing a rematch to Nogueira in late 2006, but a planned superfight with Fedor Emelianenko last year was cancelled at the last minute after Barnett’s third positive test for steroids. He remains one of MMA’s most polarising figures, but his skills inside the ring/cage are undeniable.

Potential opponents for Barnett’s Strikeforce debut have not yet been named, though there will be no shortage of top contenders for him to face.



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