ByJosh Molina, writer at
Covers mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and the convergence of the two industries.
Josh Molina

TNA has a new, nationally known fighter on its roster. Former heavyweight champion of the world will reportedly be at TNA television tapings tonight to set up a feud with champion .

Barnett has plenty of experience and has brought a pro wrestling-like charisma to the world of MMA. Barnett often cuts wrestling style promos before and after his MMA matches.

His migration to TNA comes at a time when Barnett is serving a year-long suspension from MMA, after he failed an out-of-competition drug test on Dec. 9.

Barnett vs. Bobby Lashley, who wrestles in , would be especially notable because it involves pro wrestlers who are on rosters for competing fight companies.

In the interview below, Barnett, who used to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling, talks about how the MMA business can learn from pro wrestling (along with his thoughts on Champion Shinsuke Nakamura returning to MMA).

Barnett also does commentary for New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS, along with Jim Ross.

Barnett headlined a a pro wrestling show at the Tokyo Dome, against Yuji Nagata for the IWGP heavyweight title on January 4, 2003. According to, Barnett wrestled Lashley in 2011, as part of the IGF tournament to crown a pro wrestling world heavyweight champion.

As an MMA fighter, Barnett is 35-8, and last fought on September 3, 2016, when he defeated Andrei Arlovski by rear naked choke in the third round.


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