Josh Barnett is due to face Ben Rothwell in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 18 on Saturday in Newark. But as reports came in that after Cain Velasquez, Fabricio Werdum too withdrew from the UFC 196 main event, Josh Barnett expressed his interest to fight Stipe Miocic who replaced Velasquez.
Barnett, a former champion himself claims that he understands why Werdum withdrew from the fight. According to him, Werdum “should have come up with a better excuse plan.”
“I understand his fear, but should he take that fight?” Barnett said at a UFC media lunch, reports MMA Fighting.
“I think he should. I think that’s where he should step up and blast this guy. Or at least he should have come up with a better excuse. But it’s his life to live, not mine. The fans will judge him and think whatever they want to.”
Barnett feels that Werdum’s decision to withdraw from the fight is more to do with finances.
“He does not want to risk the potential of walking into the cage and making less than he’s making now,” Barnett said. “He probably feels like this opportunity to make this money, this is it. He’s 38, he’s coming into his prime. He’s had the best performances of his entire life. If he doesn’t do it now, it’s gone forever. He won’t make that money again. These are his opportunities for his paydays, so he’s fearful of losing that. Understandably so.”
Although Barnett is willing to fight Miocic, he however, is not the one to say negative things to grab limelight and understands Werdum’s reasoning.
“I can completely just say something bombastic and accusatory and negative right now to give myself some fame, but I’m not gonna do that. He has to live with whatever decisions he makes and you know he’s gonna be upsetting the head office. Of course,” Barnett added.
“I’m not gonna sit here and be like, ‘He’s a punk, he’s a pussy, he’s this. I can understand where he’s coming from. I can see his reasoning.”
Photo Courtesy: FOX Sports