Josh Barnett has a message for the UFC heavyweight division.
“The enemy has returned. I've signed with the UFC, and no heavyweight is safe,” Barnett recently wrote on Twitter. “They're all due a lesson in violence from ‘The Warmaster.’”
Barnett’s tweet serves as the first official confirmation of the heavyweight’s UFC signing. Sherdog.com reported the catch wrestler’s imminent Octagon return earlier this week after confirming the deal with a source close to the negotiations.
A longtime mixed martial artist and professional wrestler, Barnett began his fighting career in 1997 and made his UFC debut three years later. “The Warmaster” bested Randy Couture to win the promotion’s heavyweight title in 2002 but was later stripped of the belt after testing positive for banned substances.
Following a successful career in Japan under the Pancrase and Pride Fighting Championships banners, Barnett returned stateside to compete for Affliction and then Strikeforce, advancing to the finals of the latter promotion’s heavyweight grand prix before suffering a unanimous decision defeat to Daniel Cormier. The 35-year-old last competed on Jan. 12 at Strikeforce’s final show, where he submitted an overmatched Nandor Guelmino in just 2:11.