"The Warmaster" Josh Barnett is in rare company as a professional athlete. He is not only a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and previously a top competitor within PRIDE and Strikeforce, but has also wrestled and/or done commentary for some of the world's top professional wrestling companies.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Josh Barnett had signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA. Under the Bellator banner, Barnett's next in-ring competition is scheduled for December 20th against Ronny Markes at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Part of Bellator's Salute The Troops extravaganza, this event also includes a title match featuring Flyweight Champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.
On December 9, 2019, I had the pleasure of speaking with Josh Barnett by phone about his upcoming fight against Ronny Markes, his future with Bellator, other upcoming plans and more. Simply put, the best is yet to come for the Washington state native.
The full conversation is embedded below, while part of the chat has been transcribed exclusively for Sportskeeda. For more on Josh Barnett, you can follow him via www.twitter.com/JoshLBarnett and www.instagram.com/JoshLBarnett on social media; the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz podcast can be downloaded via iTunes and PureGrainAudio.com.
On when he signed to Bellator versus when he announced it:
Josh Barnett: I don't really know at this point. Probably not particularly long, but I couldn't tell you.
On his 2020 plans:
Josh Barnett: Well, for one, I'm going to have a whiskey on the market, from me and Sespe Creek Distillery. I don't have an exact date yet, but I promise this is not run of the mill "celebrity whiskey" stuff. Where it's all been watered down, figuratively, to have a broad palette. This is serious stuff. This is all going to be cask strength. It is single-barrel, it is smoked, it is gonna punch you in the face. It is full of unique and very complex flavor profiles. It is also full of things that you are going to be accustomed to as a whiskey-drinker as well. It's a full-meal deal.
Beyond that I'm looking forward to some acting, I just wrapped up The Outlaw Johnny Black with Michael Jai White just last month. I have enough leeway and enough time on that Bellator contract that hopefully there's more than just Ronny Marks that wants to get in the ring with me while I'm still around and kicking.