WrestlingINC's own Raj Giri caught up with MMA fighter and professional wrestler, Josh Barnett. Among other things, Barnett talked about whether UFC should give CM Punk another fight, whether Ronda Rousey will return to The Octagon after suffering her second straight defeat, and whether he would like to have a UFC fight against Brock Lesnar.
When asked whether UFC should give Punk another fight, Barnett responded in the affirmative, noting that UFC likely made a multi-fight investment in 'The Straight Edge Superstar' and expecting Punk to be a world-beater from the get-go may have been unrealistic.
"Well, I think they invested all this time and effort and energy into him, then, absolutely, they should give him another fight." Barnett continued, "I don't know what kind of contract he has, but usually, it's a multi-fight deal. He was getting into some pretty deep water to begin with, but I don't think he was mistaken in that, in any sense of the word. I think that he knew what a difficult climb this was going to be. But kudos to him to step forward and do it anyways."
While Barnett described Mickey Gall, Punk's opponent at UFC 203, as "a very talented fighter on the rise," 'The Warmaster' suggested that culling a more favorable opponent for Punk would be a bit much to ask of UFC.
"I think people would be more interested to see a back and forth, see a match that was hotly contested, but it's really up to them. It's a lot to ask a company like the UFC to do such a thing, but it's within their power."
On the subject of Rousey, who suffered her second straight loss this past December, Barnett indicated that he really does not know what the future holds for the former UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion.
"I don't know her that well," Barnett admitted. "It was a real tough loss for her. It felt like, from watching it, that her rhythm never got started and Amanda [Nunes]'s on such a supreme level of confidence right now. That makes a really big difference for a fighter, how they perform. But tough losses, great wins, both come. So, if she wants to, I think that the physicality is still there, but it can be really brutal on you. So perhaps the ancillary elements to being a professional entertainer like that are something she would rather avoid. But, in any case, no matter what the result of that last fight was, it doesn't take away from all the victories and successes before that."
Commentators such as 'The Coach' Jonathan Coachman have said that WWE would not want to use Rousey because she has been tainted by her two losses. In response, the color commentator of New Japan Pro-Wrestling on AXS TV offered up a redemption storyline for WWE that would capitalize on Rousey's fall from grace.
"To be honest, the comeback story is one of the most popular, so, if anything, maybe that's how they would see it, the rebuild, and that could garner a lot of traction. I don't know if being a full-time wrestler is something that she's interested in either."
Although Barnett has not had a whole lot of conversations with UFC's new ownership, he would welcome the opportunity to face Lesnar in The Octagon.
"Oh, I'd love to. I think it would be a fight that would really draw money. Plus, I'd be inspired to do it. And that's really important to me, especially after 20 years of doing this."
Check back here later this week for more from the interview.