Josh Barnett is no longer under contract with the UFC.
Let’s start from the begging. Back in December of 2016, USADA announced on that the former UFC heavyweight champion failed an out-of-competition drug test stemming from a Dec. 9 screening. He was facing a UFC anti-doping violation.
Barnett (35-8) has had a great 20-year-long career, and he is coming off a third-round submission of Andrei Arlovski in September of 2016. Since returning to the UFC after a stint in Strikeforce, he is 3-2.
Barnett failed a drug test for banned substance ostarine and was provisionally suspended while he plead his case.
'The Warmaster' was ultimately able to prove his innocence when it was found he unknowingly took the substance in a tainted supplement following a lengthy - and expensive - arbitration.
But Barnett acknowledged to MMA Fighting that he was in the minority of fighters in terms of connections to a high-profile lawyer and his ability to afford such a costly and time-consuming process.
He admitted that USADA testing wasn't a bad thing, but was also something that required the agency to be held accountable like the fighters.
In terms of the actual money he spent to go through such a process, Barnett has gone on record in the past by stating he'd rather not discuss the exact amount because it didn't matter.
But while it may seem Barnett is a little angered by the entire USADA process, he believes it's not unfair for fighters to be unable to compete while their cases are heard. What is, however, is the sheer amount of time it takes to sort out each case, as he revealed his supplement had come back as tainted.
Overall, Barnett insisted he wasn't here to slam USADA, as he feels their aim is noble.
The one thing that got to him was the fact that his case was extended to the lengths it was, as his focus should have been on fighting inside the octagon rather than in a courtroom
It’s no secret that Barnett has had a history of failed drug tests, going all the way back to 2001 after he beat Bobby Hoffmann at UFC 34 when he was given a warning for a positive screen.
In his next fight, he beat Randy Couture to win the UFC heavyweight title in 2002 but tested positive for banned substances after the fight and was stripped of the title.
Back in 2009, he was supposed to fight Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Trilogy, but he tested positive for anabolic steroids ten days before the event, which was canceled as a result of it.
On Wednesday night, it was reported that Barnett was released from the promotion. In a recent interview with ESPN, the former UFC heavyweight champion set the record straight by stating that it was his choice to depart from the promotion.
“It’s true that I have asked for my release, and we are discussing the terms now,” Barnett said. “Zuffa (parent company of the UFC) has been fantastic and above-board since I re-signed with the company (in 2013).
Every promise made has been kept, and I have no disparaging words for them. After everything I went through with USADA, and my vindication in that case, I don’t feel comfortable giving the control necessary to USADA that would continue my career in the UFC.”
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