The Ultimate Fighting Championship is expected to swoop in for Joey Barton this summer after he once again demonstrated his natural ability in a post-match incident in the tunnel at Barnsley in April.
The Fleetwood manager has been charged with causing actual bodily harm after the incident, though it is said to have impressed the executives at UFC.
UFC insider Chuck Williams told reporters that they are always searching for athletic men to who are happy to hit each other with very little provocation, while also being quite good in front of the camera.
He went on, “Over the years Barton has cultivated a persona which can create controversy and nonsense simply by breathing in a particular way.
“We feel he would make a great addition to our roster of fighters, especially considering the hysterical atmosphere generated by US crowds.
“Even here in the UFC, I think he’d get a reputation as something of a firebrand.”
Meanwhile, UFC fans have admitted they are excited at the prospect of seeing Barton in the Octagon.
Fan Jake Matthews told us, “Joey has a long and distinguished track record of using violence when things aren’t going his way; punches, headbutts, even stubbing out cigars into the faces of other people – he can do it all. So I can’t wait to see him properly unleashed in the Octagon.
“Of course, the guys in UFC hit back pretty hard, so that in itself will be very entertaining – plus he might find it hard to play the philosopher by waxing lyrical about Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative when a 15-stone fighting machine has tried to push his nose through the back of his head.
“So it’s win-win.”