Often controversial heavyweight fighter Josh Barnett will be making his Strikeforce debut this weekend against Brett Rogers in the quarterfinals round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Returning from almost a yearlong absence due to complicated re-licensing issues with the California State Athletic Commission related to positive steroid tests, Barnett will fight the 11-2 Rogers for a chance to advance in the tournament and face Sergei Kharitonov in the semi-finals round of the tournament.
“The Baby-Faced Assassin” recently appeared on the Sherdog Radio Network’s Savage Dog Show to discuss the upcoming bout as well as who he hopes to face should he make it to the finals.
“One, don’t let him hit me. And two, just put hands on him. Hit him first, hit him last and wherever he wants to be, take him out of that,” said Barnett. “Take his skill sets away and put him under my control. Even if we’re on the feet, if I’m tearing him up with techniques that he can’t really defend… if I’m taking advantage of all his mistakes and any openings that he’s giving me, then that’s where I’ll keep the fight. I’m going to put him somewhere that he doesn’t want to be no matter what.”
As he believes that he will advance all the way to the finals, Barnett is hoping to face Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem once he gets there.
“I’d like to see Alistair at the end of all of this just because he has done such a great job in the recent years and winning the K-1 is a great accomplishment, really commendable,” he said. “He’s at the top of his game. People see him as this unstoppable juggernaut right now, and that’s what I want to jump in there with. That’s what I want to fight, a guy that people think is unbeatable.”
Overeem’s own advancement in the tournament depends on his getting past Fabricio Werdum this weekend at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum, which goes down at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Barnett and Rogers will meet in the fight card’s co-main event.