Josh Barnett has picked up a side job while waiting to see what the UFC has to offer him inside the Octagon.
Barnett and long-time announcer Mauro Ranallo will form the English broadcasting duo for “New Japan Pro Wrestling,” a 13-part series that will air on AXS TV.
The series debuts January 16 at 9 p.m. ET and will air on Friday nights as part of weekly MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing events on the network.
“With this acquisition, AXS TV FIGHTS now offers one of the most diverse combat sports and sports entertainment programming line-ups on television,” AXS TV FIGHTS CEO Andrew Simon said. “There is a strong relationship and influence between professional wrestling and MMA, and with the addition of Josh Barnett and Mauro Ranallo as our commentators, we’re confident this new venture will be a crossover hit with wrestling and MMA fans alike.”
The debut episode will feature Tanahashi defending the IWGP heavyweight title against Kazuchika Okada.
Barnett has spent plenty of time in the wrestling squared circle over the year, while Ranallo has previously called Strikeforce events and is the current voice of both boxing pay-per-views and Invicta FC.