Barnett Eager to ‘Smash Somebody’s Teeth Out’

By Sherdog.com Staff Sep 6, 2011
Josh Barnett takes on Sergei Kharitonov in the semifinals of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix Sept. 10 in Cincinnati.

Ahead of the bout, Barnett (Pictured) joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss a possible future in the UFC, professional wrestling, women’s MMA and more.

Barnett on whether winning the Strikeforce grand prix will open the door for a move to the UFC: “I don’t actually count anything as an open door to the UFC. There is no open door to the UFC. You’re in the UFC when you sign a contract and you step into the ring. Until then, none of it matters or counts. You’ve got to win the fight put in front of you and then you make your steps from there. Until you win those fights, it’s really all bulls--t.”

On whether you have to be in the UFC to be considered the best: “In other people’s perceptions, as far as like rankings and things like that, sure. But I think the fighters figure s--t out pretty quick.”

On dealing with athletic commissions and other issues: “I’ve got to deal with it and I’ve just got to keep going. What people really want is me to go out there and fight and do what’s necessary. So whatever has to be done, they just want to see it taken care of. I’ll follow through with that because all I want to do is get in the ring and smash somebody’s teeth out.”

On Sergei Kharitonov: “He’s a heavy-chinned, heavy-handed kind of guy. He’s not super fast, but he’s real comfortable on his feet.”

On his nickname changing from “The Baby-Faced Assassin” to “The Warmaster”: “It just came about from the fact that I’m just too old to be a baby-faced anything anymore. The band Bolt Thrower gave me the nickname ‘The Warmaster.’ You don’t get to choose your nicknames. They’re given to you. It seemed like the right time to change things up.”

On his ability to promote himself and speak on the microphone: “I would put my promo skills up against anybody in MMA, without a doubt. I don’t really care what other people do. I think it would be more interesting if people put more personality out for sure, but you’ve got to do the thing that fits you and that you’re comfortable [with] and capable of doing. They’ve just got to work the mojo that works best with them, and some people have no mojo. That’s just the way it goes.”

On the “hard times” promo he cut during an open workout before he fought Brett Rogers in June: “That promo was an homage to Dusty [Rhodes]. It was an amazing promo when he cut it at the time and I’ve always been a Dusty Rhodes fan. He’s always had a lot of great mic work as well. You see a great promo, and there’s been a lot of them. I don’t think I can pull off any of the Macho Man ones, but there were some legendary ones there as well. Everybody loves [Ric] Flair’s mic work. You try not to be anybody in particular, but when you find stuff that’s inspiring to you or something that you just like, that you take to your heart and you’d like to show your respect to it, you just go with it. The one thing I can only really stress is you’ve got to be yourself no matter what. You can’t be anybody else.”

On doing a pro wrestling match with Tim Sylvia: “He quite surprised me. He’s got a pretty good head for it. He’s actually -- I guess he’s been a huge mark. He’s just sort of been in the closet about it. He went out there and he was a pleasure to work with for a first-timer especially. I thought he has potential if he is to try and develop it.”

On the state of women’s MMA: “It’s actually slowed down quite a bit on the grand scale in terms of television fights. I really hope that changes. … I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but we’ve just got to take it day by day.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 49:55).

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