Former UFC heavyweight champ Josh Barnett flagged for anti-doping violation

UFC Heavyweight Josh Barnett negotiating UFC release over distrust with USADA

Well it looks like Josh Barnett and the UFC are at odds once again, an will apparently go their separate ways.

Yesterday afternoon, MMA Junkie had reported that Josh Barnett was released from the UFC. Barnett quickly denied these rumors speaking to ESPN, stating he had not yet been let go by the organization but was in negotiation currently with the company an stressed there was no ill will on his part.

“It’s true that I have asked for my release and we are discussing the terms now,” Barnett said. “Zuffa has been fantastic and above-board since I re-signed with the company. Every promise made has been kept and I have no disparaging words for them.”

Barnett added that the main reason he’s negotiating his release from the UFC is due to USADA’s role with the organization and his mistrust with the agency.

In December 2016, Barnett failed an out-of-competition drug test, an despite being able to provide the evidence that failure of the drug test was a result of a tainted supplement, USADA still stood on it’s intentions of suspending the former UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Barnett proceeded to take the situation to arbitration and thus became the first UFC fighter to have not received a suspension since USADA became the UFC anti-doping program in 2015.

Though accomplishing such a great feat, however it still made Barnett uncomfortable returning to operate under the jurisdiction of USADA.

“After everything I went through with USADA, and my vindication in that case, I don’t feel comfortable giving the control necessary to USADA that would continue my career in the UFC,” Barnett said.