(Picture by Dave Mandel)
With the exception of my fantasy best friend Ken Shamrock, I fucking hate it when MMA and pro wrestling get mixed up. If I hear one more story about Kurt Angle or Brock Lesnar getting into MMA I’m going to castrate someone with a cheese grater. And the whole Dana White = Vince McMahon thing is stupid … kids, let it go and grow up.
Dana isn’t Vince, Chuck isn’t Steve Austin, and I don’t know who you think is Owen Hart but I cross my fingers it’s Matt Serra so we can drop him off the roof of an arena too. So just stop the fucking comparisons, everyone. You’ve spent so much time being brainwashed by the WWE that you’re taking tenuous similarities and blowing them up into proof that Dana White stole his business model playbook from the smouldering wreckage of Vince McMahon’s limo. Well news flash: he didn’t.
Anyways, this is a post about Josh Barnett. Up until this point I haven’t had anything negative to say about Josh past his love handles and titties. But I stand in the mirror and cry about my man boobs too, so I’ll cut Josh some slack on that front. But now Josh is knee deep in pro wrestling again, and it appears he’s trying to use some wrestling antics to gain himself some press. If you haven’t read it, here’s what he wrote on his myspace:
Let’s get straight to it and say that Randy did a phenomenal job at UFC 74 in defending his title. As a fan and a fellow Washingtonian I was happy to see him win. But as for the title itself â€” it still sits in my house. No one in UFC ever beat me for it, and as far as I am concerned, no one in the UFC can be the heavyweight champion until they take that belt off of me in the cage.
At the post fight press conference, Dana White said “there isn’t anyone in the world that can beat this guy” in reference to Randy. All this because Randy beat a guy that had less than ten fights and only one noteworthy win? That’s not even a world championship level fight, let alone reason to proclaim the winner as “unbeatable”. This comment was made even more ridiculous by the fact that I was standing right there, living proof that Randy Couture is definitely beatable.
“Unbeatable”, Dana says. If he actually believes that, I’m more than willing to step into the cage and prove him wrong. It wouldn’t even have to be for the belt. I already got the real belt. They can keep their pile of brass they purport as the UFC Heavyweight Title and put it on their next paper champ.
This letter has basically pissed off everyone, and I can’t say I disagree with the masses. The obvious reason for being ticked is the fact that Josh Barnett’s belt was tainted by his failed steroids test. 5 years in Japan afterwards doesn’t exactly help your reputation as a clean fighter either … I remember when Josh showed up for the first US Pride show, everyone was holding their breath on him clearing his steroid test (Barnett was forced to pee in several cups to get relicensed).
For me, I don’t really care about that. I’ve said it before … if crazy genetically modified freaks want to beat it out in the ring for my amusement I’m happy to tune in and watch. If one genetically modified freak wants to smash up an elderly man, that’s even better!
What I’m not down with is having a fighter like Josh who generally seems like such a nice guy downplay the accomplishments of Randy Couture. Josh has always had an ego but it usually manifested itself in less disrespectful ways. Stirring the pot by calling Randy Couture a paper champion is bound to put you in the doghouse along with Babalu as far as MMA fans are concerned.
Of course, I don’t doubt this is all just part of a general plan to get back into the limelight. If Dana takes the bait (and Dana does seem to mark out on all things PRIDE related), it’ll be worth it to see Josh back in action. However, considering how prominent steroids are as a topic of interest and Josh’s dubious history on that issue, I don’t know if anything will happen.