Northwest Athlete Profile: Josh Barnett

UFC/MMA: Josh Barnett

Born November 10th, 1977 in Seattle Washington.

When we think of Seattle’s greatest professional athletes, the first names to pop in our heads are often basketball players and football players. But one of the world’s top heavyweight mixed martial artists, Josh Barnett, hails from the Emerald City, too.

The former UFC champion has been as successful has he is infamous in the sport.

Nicknamed the Baby-Faced Assassin because of his perpetually boyish facial features to go along with his 6’3”, 261-pound frame, Barnett exploded onto the scene as a youngster in the UFC in 2000.

He entered the promotion already 9-0 and won three of his first four big-league bouts to set up a title shot against UFC legend and fellow Northwesterner Randy Couture in 2002. Barnett scored a second-round knockout to become the youngest champion in UFC history at 24 years old.

Josh Barnett

Northwest Athlete Profile - Josh Barnett

He held that mark until this past March, when Jon Jones broke it.

Unfortunately, Barnett tested positive for banned substances after the victory.

The UFC stripped him of the belt and banned him.

But that didn’t stop Barnett from continuing one of the most successful careers ever for a heavyweight.

He fought in promotions like Pride, Affliction and Strikeforce, earning wins over the likes of Minotauro Nogueira. He currently awaits Daniel Cormier in the final of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Barnett has as many enemies as he has fans but he’s a colourful addition to the sport.

He’s known for his outstanding “Catch Wrestling,” a technique that combines his girth and grappling with powerful, vicious submissions that accompany his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.

He’s equally known for being one of the sport’s most outspoken fighters. It’s no wonder he moonlights as a pro wrestler in Japan.

Love him or hate him, Barnett is one of the most successful fighters ever to emerge from the Seattle area.

He’s now 31-5, having won eight straight bouts.

Will the UFC ever give him another chance?

Time will tell.

Find him on the web at

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