After recently re-signing with the UFC following 11 years away from the promotion, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett will step back into the Octagon in August to face another former UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Barnett (32-6, 4-1 UFC) will battle Frank Mir (16-7, 14-7 UFC) in a heavyweight clash on the pay-per-view portion of UFC 164 on August 31 from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. UFC officials announced the bout on Wednesday evening.
Barnett was the UFC Heavyweight Champion when he last exited the Octagon, which was a knockout win over Randy Couture at UFC 36. Barnett was stripped of the championship following testing positive for banned substances following the fight. Barnett subsequently left the promotion, and spent the next decade-plus fighting for promotions including PRIDE, Affliction, DREAM, and, most recently, Strikeforce. Barnett returns to the UFC following a 9-1 run over his last ten fights.
Mir is looking to break a two-fight losing streak against Barnett. Mir most recently dropped a decision to Daniel Cormier at UFC On FOX 7 in April, which followed a knockout loss to former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146 in May 2012 in a UFC Heavyweight Championship bout. Mir’s last win came over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 140 in December 2011, where he became the first man to ever submit Nogueira while earning “Submission Of The Year” honors.
Barnett vs. Mir joins a growing card for the UFC 164 event. Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida, Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier and Ben Rothwell vs. Brandon Vera have been announced for the event, and a main event is expected to be announced shortly.