Sherdog conducted an interview with PRIDE heavyweight veteran Josh Barnett. He is currently scheduled to take on Jeff Monson at Sengoku 2 on May 18.
Barnett on upcoming fight with Jeff Monson:
“Again I’m fighting a friend, like when I fought Yoshida, but this one’s even more difficult for me because [Monson] was on my team for the Ring of Fire, spent some time with me at AMC Pankration, and I’ve been in his corner for almost all of his UFC fights, and I’ve helped him get ready for many of his fights in his career…I guess that’s the thing. When you’re in the business long enough, you meet enough people, make a lot of friendships and relationships, but when it comes down to it, you can fight anybody. I can do that, but it doesn’t mean I always enjoy it.
I talked to him a little bit beforehand, just let him know they brought his name up, asking him, ‘What should we do about it? Should we accept this fight?’ And in the end, what it came down to was that nobody was going to fight us, and so the only people that could put on a match was us. We’re professionals, so we’re going to go out there and do what we have to do and fight.”
Barnett on a possibility of fighting on the debut Affliction card:
“I think that if anyone would be a perfect fit for that, it’d be me, since I’m the second MMA guy behind Justin Levens (Pictures) to get involved with their custom T-shirt designs…Before even Randy got involved, before there was anyone else in MMA involved — I’ve got T-shirts you can’t even buy that were produced by Affliction.”
“You know he’s[Pedro Rizzo] got a win over Jeff [Monson] and [Justin] Eilers, so he’s back on the winning track from those performances in Pride. Right after I lost that fight [to Rizzo], when Frank Shamrock was interviewing me, asking me, ‘What happened?’ I said, ‘I just got caught coming in and I got knocked out, but you know what? I’m going to come back here and fight him again and knock his ass out.'”
Barnett on getting back on top:
“But I’m a pro-wrestler, and I go on tour and fight every night. I have no idea who I can fight or even when I can fight. But I’ll be ready. I can deal with it.
I had to sit out a year, but I’m finally back and have one fight under my belt. I’ll be fighting in another one soon and will just be chugging away here, proving myself by putting strength behind my words. Saying what I do, doing what I say. All those who took me off their rankings, don’t worry. I’ll be right back there at the top again sometime in the near future.”