Josh Barnett To Make His Pro Wrestling Noah Debut In September

It was announced on Sunday evening that former UFC Heavyweight Champion and GCW: Bloodsport host Josh Barnett will be making his Pro Wrestling NOAH debut on September 3 for the N-1 Victory finals. Barnett will be facing the co-founder of the Japanese mixed martial arts promotion Pancrase — Masakatsu Funaki. The other co-founder is legendary NJPW star and current NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion Minoru Suzuki. Barnett took to Twitter to comment on his upcoming debut.

"September 3rd in Osaka at the Edion Arena. Masakatsu Funaki (4th & 6th King of Pancrase, AJPW Triple Crown, GHC National Championship) vs Josh Barnett (10th King of Pancrase, UFC Heavyweight Champion, Metamoris Heavyweight Champion) Let's ride," tweeted Barnett.

Earlier this month, on May 4, Barnett did commentary for NOAH Majestic 2023, in which Funaki was in action at the event. Funaki had defeated Shinya Aoki in a GHC Martial Arts Rules match.  In his MMA career, Funaki had faced several past UFC fighters including Ken and Frank Shamrock, Vernon White, Bas Rutten, and Jason DeLucia.

The last time that Barnett stepped in the ring was for Bloodsport 9, where he lost to Timothy Thatcher via submission. The annual show also had featured former NJPW star Kota Ibushi, AEW star and Blackpool Combat Club member Jon Moxley, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Jeff Cobb, Calvin Tankman, and Marina Shafir.

The September 3 event will be taking place at the Edion Arena in Osaka. So far Barnett vs. Funaki has been the only match that has been announced for the N-1 Victory finals event.