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By Oliver Taylor on 8/6/2021 12:58 PM

Legendary mixed martial arts and professional wrestling figure Josh Barnett has reacted to the news that Fedor Emelianenko will face Timothy Johnson at Bellator’s first ever show in Russia on October 23.

Barnett posted on Twitter: “My social media has been inundated seeing so many people confused & disappointed about me not getting the Fedor fight.

“Understand that there’s lots of people that are involved in making such a call so it’s hard to know who made it and for what reason, but I was game & wanted it.

“I’m disappointed too but things keep moving and I hope for a great and entertaining fight for all.”

Barnett nearly fought Emelianenko at now-defunct promotion Affliction Entertainment’s Trilogy event in August 2009, but the bout was scrapped after Barnett tested positive for a banned substance 11 days before the fight and the company folded before the event even happened.

Barnett confirmed on MMA Fighting’s What the Heck podcast last month that he had communicated his desire to fight Emelianenko to Bellator CEO Scott Coker, but ultimately the fight was given to Johnson.

Barnett’s last fight was against Andrei Arlovski at Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC Fight Night 93 event in Hamburg, Germany, in September 2016. Barnett won via submission with a rear-naked choke.

He was scheduled to face Ronny Markes at Bellator 235 in Honolulu, Hawaii in December 2019, but was deemed medically unfit to compete Hawaii State Boxing Commission.

Wrestling fans will know Barnett for his affiliation to and wrestling on Game Changer Wrestling’s Bloodsport shows, most recently defeating All Elite Wrestling megastar Jon Moxley in April.

Now that the possibility of fighting Emelianenko is out of the picture, Barnett might have more time to focus on Bloodsport shows, asking fans on Twitter today how often they would want to see the brand per year.