The UFC 168 press conference on Thursday was typical fare for the first 23 minutes, until Josh Barnett opened his mouth.
In a scene straight out of a WWE-style interview, Barnett opened his mouth and stole the show. In response to a media question about how Barnett will responde to his opponent Travis Browne’s kickboxing and awkward striking style, Barnett dropped this:
“Being from the Pacific Northwest, we have the giant Pacific octopus. So we put some gloves on one of those and hopped it up on a bunch of Xyience 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.”
Browne didn’t look amused or entertained by the comment.
Barnett’s comments sparked laughter and applause from the audience.
Up until that point, everyone else in the press conference had fielded questions from the MMA media. But when Barnett got his question he made the most of it. Barnett will fight Browne on the main card of Saturday’s UFC 168 show. The winner of the fight will likely take on Fabricio Werdum for a title shot against UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez when he returns next year.
Barnett, a former UFC heavyweight champion, left the organization a decade ago after he tested positive for banned substances. He had a successful career fighting in Japan and competing as a professional wrestler, an endeavor where he learned and masted the art of the WWE-style promo.
Barnett fought for Strikeforce before moving over to the UFC earlier this year. He knocked out Frank Mir in his UFC return.