Josh Barnett Comments On Securing Kota Ibushi For Bloodsport, Davey Richards' Status

Josh Barnett's Bloodsport has become a staple of WrestleMania weekend with wrestlers competing in hybrid wrestling and MMA fights.

Bloodsport 2023 will be highlighted by Kota Ibushi's return to competition as he takes on "Speedball" Mike Bailey.

Trent Beretta Comments On His Injury Status

Speaking to Comedy Store Wrestling, Josh Barnett discussed how Ibushi was secured for Bloodsport.

"I just talked to the dude. I go, 'Hey, what's up?' He goes, 'Nice to see you.' That's it. I didn't know he'd be willing to do Bloodsport until I saw his interview. 'Oh shit, I guess I better follow up with him.' Glad that he's coming. I can only expect something electric. No one has ever seen him in an environment like this, but he's known for being a really dynamic wrestler. I've called plenty of his matches. He has a great karate background. There was talk about him fighting Manny Pacquiao in RIZN. To be honest, I didn't know about New Japan or injuries. I was just like, 'Hey, if you ever want to do Bloodsport, I'd love to have you. I think it'd be great, you can display a lot of your martial arts prowess and we pride ourselves in putting together a place where athletes can really shine.' He was favorable to it and I saw an interview online where that's what he intended to. 'Fuck yeah, I'll do whatever I can to make that happen,'" said Barnett.

Ibushi became a free agent on February 1, leaving NJPW, and was immediately announced for GCW The Collective. He will not only compete at Bloodsport, but he will be part of Joey Janela's Spring Break as well.

"I remember somebody asking me what sort of impression that got. Between only two accounts, it was over a million people looking at that stuff," said Barnett.

Joey Janela credited Barnett for getting Ibushi booked for Spring Break. You can find his full comments by clicking here.

Davey Richards was scheduled to face Jon Moxley at Bloodsport 2023, but Richards recently announced that he would be retiring after allegations of domestic violence.

When asked about Richards' status, Barnett said, "It's hard to have a guy who is retired, run in your ring, and do a match. That's kind of the opposite of retired. We'll sort it out."

Fightful will provide more information on Bloodsport when it is known.

Josh Barnett's Bloodsport 9 is scheduled for March 30. The event will air on FITE TV.

If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.

Get exclusive pro wrestling content on Fightful Select, our premium news service! Click here to learn more.