After a lot of old PRIDE superstars have spent the past year either being obliterated in the UFC (thus lowering their stock) or fighting cans in Japan (thus lowering their stock). So it’s nice to see that Josh Barnett will be fighting a real opponent in Jeff Monson on May 18th. Sure, it’s not a universe exploding fight, but it’s an interesting matchup since both guys are tough and scrappy.
One small issue though: they’re also pretty good friends. Josh addressed it in a recent interview and said it isn’t a problem, but I’m always a bit wary when it’s two guys who like and have trained together. I just get the feeling that neither guy is going to be trying to cave the other guy’s skull in, which kinda takes away from the fun of watching them fight. And Barnett is a respectable guy … when he fought Yoshida he apologized after suplexing the dude and kept on pausing between punches near the end to give Yoshida a chance to tap. It just wasn’t exciting like when he fought Aleks or CroCop. In those fights, it was no quarter given, and none taken.