For the first time in 11 years, former UFC Heavyweight champion Josh Barnett earned a win inside of the octagon, defeating fellow former champion Frank Mir via TKO in the first round.
With this latest win under his belt, “The Warmaster” has a chance to climb to the top of the UFC heavyweight rankings and once again become the heavyweight of the world.
Prior to his fight against Mir, Barnett had not been seen inside the octagon since 2002 where he defeated Randy Couture to win the title. After the fight he had tested positive for banned substances, which led him to getting stripped of the title and going into exile. Barnett, known back then as “The Baby-faced Assassin,” earned success outside of the UFC.
Barnett is one of the best well-rounded fighters in the heavyweight division. He has great catch wrestling, good hands and has been able to take a lot of punishment.
He is also entertaining and loves to deliver WWE-style promos. This may annoy the die-hard MMA fans who shake their fists and throw curse-filled posts on Facebook when they feel an influence of pro wrestling creeping into their beloved sport, but fighters with a gift for gap can sell fights.
Although I do not think Barnett is quite ready for a title shot, he has earned the right to face someone in the top 5 rankings. He could face Daniel Comier in a rematch, if “DC” decides to stay within the heavyweight division. He could also face Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva or Fabricio Werdum.
Who would you like to see Barnett fight next? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.