Veteran MMA heavyweight Josh Barnett will compete in what many believe will be Strikeforce’s final show on Jan. 12, according to industry sources.
The fighter formerly known as “The Babyface Assassin” will meet relatively unknown Austrian heavyweight Nandor Guelmino, and the two are expected to fight on the evening’s main card.
Barnett (31-6) hasn’t competed since dropping a one-sided fight to Daniel Cormier at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix final in May. Prior to that fight, however, Barnett won several consecutive bouts, including tournament wins over veteran Sergei Kharitonov and former Strikeforce heavyweight title contender Brett Rogers.
The event named Strikeforce: Champions at one time was announced to feature three title fights. A recent flash of injuries, however, have changed the card’s fate several times over.
Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez was scheduled to defend his title against Pat Healy, but had to withdraw after aggravating and old injury, one that forced him out of a fight with the same opponent months prior. Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold was going to defend his title against Lorenz Larkin, but he also sustained an injury that forced him off the card.
As of now, there are no plans for Strikeforce to continue doing shows after the Jan. 12 card, and many anticipate these and a few other fighters to make the transition to the UFC. It is unknown at this time if Barnett, who’s had a rough relationship with the UFC in the past, will be part of that migration.
MMAjunkie.com first reported Barnett’s scheduled appearance on the upcoming Strikeforce card.
For more UFC and MMA coverage,
visit GRACIEMAG.com’s Choke MMA section.