Spoilers: Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Debuts with TNA (Photos)

Impact Wrestling

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett made his TNA debut at Thursday’s Impact Wrestling tapings in Orlando. Barnett challenged TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Lashley and later faced him in a match that will air some time in February. This means that a current UFC fighter is feuding with a current Bellator fighter on TNA TV. Barnett also wrestled Bad Bones in a match that will air in February.

Barnett briefly was announced as the TNA World Heavyweight Champion as the match ended in controversy with referee Brian Hebner missing Lashley’s shoulder going up. Referee Brian Stifler then came out to explain what happened before senior referee Earl Hebner re-started the match. Lashley ended up winning off the re-start to retain his title.

Barnett, who has done commentary for New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS since early 2015, is currently serving a MMA suspension from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after he failed an out-of-competition drug test on December 9th. Barnett’s last UFC fight came on September 3rd, 2016 – a win over Andrei Arlovski in the main event of a UFC Fight Night event from Germany. Barnett has a MMA record of 35-8.

There is some pro wrestling history between Barnett and Lashley – Barnett defeated Lashley back in 2011 during an IGF Heavyweight Title tournament match in Tokyo. Barnett ended up losing in the finals of that tournament.

Below are photos of Barnett at Thursday’s tapings, courtesy of Jacob Cohen on Twitter:

Follow Marc on Twitter at @this_is_marc. Send any news, tips or corrections to us by clicking here.

WWE Considering Big Turn, Must See New Maryse & Noelle Foley, Triple H Ready to Push Former TNA Star on RAW, WrestleMania 33 Main Events, WWE Star Gets Backstage Heat, New GIFs & Galleries, More