News that Josh Barnett has refused a UFC contract and may sign with Bellator does not faze company president Dana White.
Barnett won the UFC heavyweight title back at -- but vacated it immediately after failing a drug test. His career then took him into Pride FC and other promotions on the way to his becoming runner-up in the recent Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
With Strikeforce having folded, Barnett is now entering free agency and was made an offer by the UFC last week. But he has reportedly turned it down, with sources pegging Japanese pro-wrestling activity and base purse prices as the reason.
The news was greeted with a shrug of the shoulders by White.
‚ÄúImagine if Josh Barnett had stayed in the UFC his whole career, what he could have accomplished, the money he could have made and all the things that could have happened. But he is his own guy, he wants to do his own thing, I have got no problem with that,‚ÄĚ he says.
‚ÄúI haven‚Äôt been dealing with him at all, Joe Silva has been dealing with him. I know there is an offer on the table for him and if he wants to take it, its being offered and if not‚Ä¶ he has always been his own guy anyway.‚ÄĚ
Barnett has not made any comment on the UFC offer or his reasons for turning it down.
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