Two top-10 heavyweights will collide on Dec. 28 when Josh Barnett and Travis Browne do battle at UFC 168.
The UFC’s year-end pay-per-view card is headlined by a middleweight title rematch between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva. The event takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will also see Ronda Rousey put her women’s bantamweight belt on the line against “TUF 18” rival Miesha Tate.
A former standout in Japan’s Pride Fighting Championships, Barnett, 35, captured the UFC heavyweight title in 2002 but was stripped of the belt after failing a drug test. “The Warmaster” went on to find success overseas in both Pride and Pancrase before he joined Strikeforce in 2011. A winner in 10 of his last 11 fights, Barnett returned to the Octagon in impressive fashion, scoring a first-round technical knockout over Frank Mir at UFC 164.
Browne, 31, has won back-to-back fights since suffering his first defeat at the hands of Antonio Silva, kicking off 2013 with a 71-second knockout of ex-UFC title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga before scoring a come-from-behind finish against Alistair Overeem one month ago at UFC Fight Night 28. “Hapa” owns a 6-1-1 Octagon record and has finished 11 of his 15 career victims by form of knockout.