Catch Wrestling U has just been informed that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett has had to withdraw from the Catch Wrestling World Championship tournament due to injury. Also out with injury is his Quarter Final opponent Christopher Crossan. The event is still a go and alternates are in place.
CWU reached out to Coach Joel Bane of Snake Pit U.S.A. for comment on Barnett’s injury and withdrawal from the Championship Tournament:
Got the news and it’s with regret that I must inform everyone that Josh Barnett was injured while preparing for this Championship. We wish him all the best towards a speedy recovery. The show will go on. After all, this one is for the fans!
CWU also reached out to Josh Barnett for official comment:
“I am greatly upset but I have to exit the tournament due to injury. A few weeks ago I badly pulled my hamstring while slipping in a pool of sweat during training. I continued to work through it and dialed back the intensity and just recently during training in a live go it popped again.
With being unable to legitimately go live with full force I am forced to withdraw from the tournament. I was the first person to sign up for this, paid for my entry online, and it is a huge disappointment to be injured now and unable to compete. In my stead I will have Erik Hammer take my place and I know he will be a fierce competitor on the mats.”
Erik Hammer is Josh Barnett’s number #1 training and sparring partner, and has been a long time student under both Barnett and Erik Paulson in MMA, Catch Wrestling and Submission Grappling. Hammer is a California State JV Wrestling Champion at 275lbs and former Arena Football Player. Hammer has also won grappling titles that include Best of the West Open and Weight divisions, Grappling X Open and Weight divisions, and is a California Catch Wrestling Tournament Heavyweight champion.
Erik Hammer has also spent time working as a Professional Wrestler for the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF). Josh Barnett has the utmost confidence in Hammer hand picked as his replacement.
Replacing Christopher Crossan will be Pat Stano. Stano has over 25 years of grappling and MMA experience, winning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world titles at Blue and Purple Belt. Now a Sergio Penha Black Belt under Carlos Cantania, Stano is also a former AAU Freestyle Wrestling Champion, Two-time Michigan All State wrestler and Division II Wrestling National Qualifier.
Stano has also competed in Grapplers Quest and NAGA, and has won 14 tournaments across those promotions in total ( 8 and 6 respectively.). Stano has also taken part in several other grappling tournaments and is a coach in Catch Wrestling with Snake Pit U.S.A.
Here is the updated brackets with the alternates in place.
A lot of fans and even competitors may be disappointed at the withdrawal of Barnett from the tournament, but there is at least the possibility Barnett will be healthy and available to take on the tournament winner in a special attraction bout in the future.
CWU wishes Josh Barnett a speedy recovery.