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Josh Barnett returns to the UFC for first time since 2002

joshbarnett

After appearing on the MMA Hour to hold out an olive branch to his former promotion, Josh Barnett has finally signed a new deal with the UFC:

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with promotion officials that former UFC heavyweight champion Barnett has signed a new multi-fight deal with the promotion and is expected to make his return to the octagon later this year. An official announcement is expected soon.

Barnett is currently ranked No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA rankings and was considered the world’s most-talented free-agent heavyweight. His return date and opponent have yet to be determined.

No word on what managed to get Josh and the UFC over their impasse, which many believed was caused by Barnett insisting on a PPV cut. Did Barnett drop that provision? Did the UFC offer it only in the case of a championship or headline fight? No one knows. My tinfoil theory? Josh is back as part of a deal setting up a Fedor Emelianenko run in the UFC. Do I have any evidence whatsoever for this? Other than Fedor’s manager showing up at UFC Sweden, nope. But that’s the great thing about tinfoil theories – they don’t need any proof past the slightest shade of insinuation.

(pic by Mark D Smith for USA Today)

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