Zuffa continues to shorten the leash on Strikeforce fighters:
Josh Barnett has been forced to cancel his August 27th pro-wrestling appearance in Japan.
As Fighters Only first reported earlier this month, Barnett had agreed to face K-1 heavyweight Jerome Le Banner in a special ‘fight celebrity’ match for Japanese pro-wrestling outfit IGF.
The terms of Barnett’s contract with Strikeforce apparently allow him to take such matches and if Strikeforce had remained an independent company, it would probably have gone ahead.
But Strikeforce is now owned by Zuffa and it seems Barnett has been prevailed upon not to take the gig which, despite being a pre-determined pro-wrestling match rather than a proper fight, could still potentially have resulted in him picking up an injury.
I dunno, have you ever actually watched one of Josh’s puroresu matches from Japan? Maybe there’s some risk of titty whiplash while bouncing off the ropes or facial cramps from excessive hamming. But I suppose when you consider the Heavyweight Grand Prix’s already gimpy situation, Zuffa doesn’t want to risk anything. If it were possible, they’d probably seal fighters up in pods full of rejuvenating fetal secretions complete with a mouth hose for feedings and Ariel Helwani interviews.