Often embattled heavyweight fighter Josh Barnett is readying for his return to action from nearly a yearlong absence due to licensing issues in the state of California; he will face Brett Rogers this weekend at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum in the quarterfinals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
The outspoken veteran addressed gathered media this week (props to MMAJunkie.com) during the open workouts for the event and issued an impassioned speech detailing his recent trials and tribulations and explaining how all of his struggle will culminate in a dramatic winning performance against Rogers.
“I’ve been sitting on the sidelines, sitting there watching everybody go out and fight. Hard times have been on Josh Barnett. Dealing with athletic commissions. Everybody saying, ‘You did this, and you did that. You’re the problem for this.’ That’s hard times. Hard times for my family. Hard times for my friends. Hard times by me. Hard times not being able to get a fight. Hard times is the company, waking up one day, is saying they’ve been sold out to your competitor! Not knowing what the hell you’re going to do. Where’s my contract at? Where’s my money? Where’s my security? Who says I’m going to get that shot now? Having that on your mind? That’s hard times.
“And then you get this big old Brett Rogers in front of you. He thinks he knows what’s tough. He thinks he’s going to make a name off of my head. So I’ve got to get up every morning, break of dawn. I’ve got to get those running shoes on. I’ve got to hit that concrete; I’ve got to get those miles under my feet. My knees are aching, my body is sore. I’ve got guys like ‘Hammer’ beating on me every single day. I’ve got body breaking down, my mind getting pushed, feeling the effects of 14 years of fighting –- feeling the effects of trying to put yourself in the best condition you can be in. Waking up every day having to deal with that? That’s what hard times is about.
“I’m going to tell you what Brett Rogers. Come Saturday, American Airlines Arena? I’m going to give you a lesson in hard times. I’m going to take all that anguish, all that pain, everything that I have been through, everything all my family has been through, everything all my coaches have been through –- I’m going to put that on you, Brett Rogers. I’m going to show you exactly what hard times is about. Who wants to see that? Not you, Brett Rogers. You do not want to see that.”
Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum goes down on Saturday night at the American Airlines Center at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.