Their was a long standing question when Josh Barnett came back to the UFC was whether he would be able to get a license to fight in the state of Nevada. The question was answered this morning when Barnett was approved for a license to fight at UFC 168 against Travis Browne during a hearing today with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Their was a catch to the license though.
Barnett was told by the commission that he would have to submit himself to random testing up until his fight with Browne as well as to random drug testing done by the commission for all of 2014. Barnett will be also be subjected to enhanced, intensive and weekly testing by the WADA lab at the expense Barnett or the UFC along with the testing in the state of Nevada even Barnett doesn’t fight in the state next year.
The former UFC heavyweight champion attended the hearing along with his attorneys had to explain his previous drug test failures in 2001 and 2002 in Nevada and 2009 in the state of California. Barnett stated that the failed 2001 and 2002 tests were due to the use of supplements that were later reclassified as anabolic steroids while contending the 2009 test was likely due to contaminated supplements. Barnett said he now largely avoids supplements due to the past issues.
“The Warmaster” said to the commission that he understands what is on the list and he is responsible for everything that is put into his body.
“I understand the prohibited list, and that’s what’s necessary,” Barnett said. “I have to watch what I put it in my mouth, in my body. No one’s giving me anything under the table and putting things in my system. This is my responsibility.”
UFC executive Marc Ratner was at the hearing and said the company would be willing to foot the bill for all additional testing.
Barnett will be the first mixed martial artist in Nevada to undergo WADA certified random drug testing.
If Barnett can get by Browne, his next fight would likely be for the UFC heavyweight championship he once held.
UFC 168 takes place on Saturday, December 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The main event will feature Chris Weidman defending the UFC middleweight championship against Anderson Silva. The co-feature will have UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defending against Miesha Tate.