Zelaznik reveals Barnett UFC deal is 'unlikely'

ESPN staff
March 5, 2010
Josh Barnett would love to compete in the UFC © UFC

Marshall Zelaznik has revealed it is "unlikely" that Josh Barnett will fight in the UFC anytime in the near future.

The UFC confirmed an agreement with former boxer James Toney on Thursday, ending months of speculation regarding the former world super middleweight champion. Barnett's story has a similarly lengthy background to it, following months of rumour and reported negotiation with the UFC, but Zelaznik believes there will be a different outcome.

Former PRIDE heavyweight Barnett is preparing for a bout under Japanese promotion DREAM on March 22, but he recently revealed he would like to join the UFC. Talking to a fan on Twitter, Barnett wrote: "They make the right offer and I'll stack skulls in the Octagon."

However, the UFC heavyweight division is vibrant with talent right now - with Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez and Shane Carwin all pursuing Brock Lesnar's title, meaning president Dana White is in a strong bargaining position. Zelaznik confesses he knows little about the Barnett situation, but he does not expect him to be lining up on a UFC card in the near future.

"The issues between Josh and the UFC are beyond me at this point and I'm probably as well-informed as you are," Zelaznik told Espn.co.uk.

"All I can do is base things on what Dana has said, which would make it seem unlikely in my mind."

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