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Video: Josh Barnett and his octopus steal show at UFC 168 press conference
Barnett worked a bit of his comedy chops on Thursday at the pre-event news conference for the show, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
When asked how he had prepared for the often unorthodox striking of fellow heavyweight Travis Browne (15-1-1 MMA, 6-1-1 UFC), Barnett (33-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC), a Washington state native, brought out a little dry humor that seemed to mostly fly over the heads of many in the room. (That, or most just didn’t find it funny.)
Barnett joked that sparring with an octopus helped him get ready for Browne, whom he meets in the middle of the pay-per-view main card just before a pair of title fights between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate and Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman.
“Being from the Pacific Northwest, we have the giant Pacific octopus,” Barnett said. “So we put some gloves on one of those and hopped it up on a bunch of Xyience (energy drink) and spun it around the ring at me. I figured (Browne) couldn’t be any more unusual than that. Unfortunately, I didn’t do too well at it. It inked me in the face and I couldn’t see, and it got a whole bunch of shots off.
“But luckily, to my knowledge, while Travis has grown a very regal beard, which I’m quite impressed with, I don’t think he squirts ink. So I feel pretty confident there.”
Believe it or not, octopus wrestling actually used to be a thing back in the day, specifically in the Pacific Northwest. So maybe Barnett wasn’t kidding, after all.
But either way, Saturday’s Barnett-Browne fight doesn’t seem destined to go all the way, at least from a percentages standpoint. Barnett and Browne have combined to finish 85 percent of their victories. For their UFC fights, that number climbs to 91 percent.