Heavyweight Josh Barnett has responded to reports that he has not yet completed his application for license to fight in the state of Texas, where he is scheduled to face Brett Rogers in the quarterfinals of Strikeforce’s 2011 heavyweight grand prix on June 18.
“Some MMA -- and I use this term loosely -- journalist sites decided to poke around and grab some information, and run with it and use my name as the lede, even though there are something like nine other athletes who are still in the process of doing their paperwork,” Barnett said Wednesday in an interview on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “They basically ran stories that got everybody hyped up and stressed out, and now [people] are hitting me up on Twitter.”
The initial report stated that Barnett had yet to finish the application process. The story cited Susan Stanford, public information officer for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, as saying that “Mr. Barnett’s application is incomplete.” The story did not mention, however, that Barnett was not alone in that regard.
According to Barnett, he has followed all the required steps to obtain a license in Texas thus far.
“I’ll say this: I’ve filled out all my paperwork. I’ve filled out everything, actually, and everything is going just fine with the athletic commission,” Barnett said. “Any additional steps they’ve wanted me to do have all been done and [done] within their timeline.
“One thing about Texas is that you can file paperwork, but you can’t get licensed until your medicals are done,” explained Barnett. “Blood work has to be [processed] within 30 days of your event, so there is no point in turning in paperwork a month in advance if you don’t have the [blood work].”
Sherdog.com contacted Barnett for further comment Wednesday afternoon, and the former UFC heavyweight champion confirmed that he submitted his blood work approximately two weeks ago.
“I did everything within [the required] timespan,” said Barnett. “In fact, I got my [blood work] order set up before the 30 days came up so that I could just walk in to the laboratory and get my blood work done, and walk out. The UFC isn’t stressing, and neither is Texas, and neither is my team. It’s a complete non-story.”
Standford has since confirmed that several fighters’ applications are “incomplete” for the June 18 card.