BARNETT VS HUNT: THE OTHER MAIN EVENT
06/30/2006

Josh Barnett was interviewed by the press on June 28th in a Tokyo hotel. Barnett will face off against Mark Hunt at the PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix 2006 Second Round, to be held at the Saitama Super Arena on July 1st.

Josh Barnett shed a significant amount of body fat in preparation for his May 5th Opening Round in which he defeated Alexander Emelianenko. Today, Barnett appeared before us in even better shape.

"Actually, I haven't weighed myself but I probably weigh about 112kg. I'm adjusting my weight in preparation for the Final Round. 111.5kg~114kg is the best weight for me," Barnett said. Laughing he continued, speaking about his friend, female mixed martial artist, Megumi Fuji, "We're having a contest to see whose stomach is the best. I can't beat her, though. She eats whatever she wants and still has a 6-pack. Beating her is like mission impossible for me. I've almost got a 6-pack, though." Barnett then lifted his shirt to show off his abs and explained that he had trained very hard to get his new stomach.

According to Barnett, he trained with Erik Paulson and the Orange County wrestling team, in addition to his usual training in Anaheim. Barnett also conducted mountain training at Big Bear, a mountainous region at 7,000 feet. In addition to running on steep mountain roads, Barnett also worked on his submissions, wrestling and sparring at a mountain gym. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, with his own upcoming fight in the US, accompanied Barnett as his training partner and both fighters apparently trained very hard. "I gained speed and power. In terms of stamina training, I worked on things that I can use in the ring, not just moving around. I was just training around a bunch of guys, though, so I think my girlfriend was lonely. (laughing)"

Barnett's upcoming opponent, Mark Hunt, is a Super Heavyweight and it's no exaggeration to say that his punching power is top-class. Barnet says that he is ready and not afraid of a striking battle with Hunt, a former K-1 Champion. "I'm confident in my right punch and I'm not worried about punching with him. This isn't kickboxing so the fight won't end just because one of us gets knocked down. That's just the beginning and you can still win after going to the ground. I can imagine myself beating Hunt and I've already got an idea in my head about which techniques I should use against him."

"I want to throw Hunt," Barnett said about this 130kg opponent. "I want to show everyone my 130kg suplex." Barnett looks to have his bases covered as he enters what could be called the other main event of the Grand Prix Second Round.