At UFC 168 on December 28th, Josh “the Warmaster” Barnett (33-6) will take on hard-hitting Travis “Hapa” Browne (15-1-1) in a fight with major UFC title implications. Dana White has stated that the winner of Barnett-Browne will face Fabricio Werdum in a title eliminator fight for the next shot at UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez. In preparation for the Barnett-Browne Heavyweight scrap, here is a look at Josh Barnett’s 5 most notable fights. 

UFC 164: Josh Barnett vs. Frank Mir

August 31st, 2013

Josh Barnett returned to the UFC with a bang knocking out former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir at UFC 164 in the first round. This was Barnett’s return to the UFC after an 11-year long hiatus. A fight between Mir and Barnett has long been considered a dream match, as both fighters are known for their submission capabilities. The fight started and the two Heavyweights met in the center of the center of the Octagon, with Barnett getting the better of the striking exchanges. Barnett used brilliant clinching against the cage to dirty box with Mir. After punishing Mir with punches against the cage, Barnett threw a huge knee that dropped Mir and scored the TKO victory at 1:56 of the first round.

Strikeforce “Barnett vs. Kharitonov”: Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov

September 10th, 2011

After the dissolution of PrideFC in 2007, Barnett spent a few years on the Japanese pro wrestling circuit, taking the occasional MMA fight to stay busy. His signing to Strikeforce was promising, and his participation in the Strikeforce Heavyweight tournament showed that Barnett was ready to make another run at MMA gold. On September 10th, 2011, Barnett faced fellow PrideFC alumni Sergei Kharitonov in the semi-final round of the Strikeforce Heavy weight tournament. Barnett made short work of Kharitonov as he took him straight to the mat and used his Catch-Wrestling to positionally dominate the Russian. Barnett locked up a tight Arm-Triangle choke and forced the tap at 4:28 in the first round.

PrideFC Final Conflict Absolute: Josh Barnett vs. Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira

September 10, 2006

This was the first fight between Nogueira and Barnett and took place in the semifinal round of the 2006 Pride Openweight Grand Prix. Both fighters were considered the top grapplers in the Heavyweight division, and stylistically was a war between Catch-Wresting and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Both fighters swung it out on the feet, but Barnett controlled the action on the ground using his top control and wrestling to smother and pound out the BJJ ace, winning the bout via Split Decision.

UFC 36: Randy “the Natural” Couture vs. Josh Barnett

March 22nd, 2002

On March 22nd, 2002, Josh Barnett took on then-champion Randy “the Natural” Couture challenging for Couture’s UFC Heavyweight title. Couture had already successful defended his title twice, both times against Pedro “the Rock” Rizzo, the man that gave Barnett his first defeat in MMA just months earlier. Barnett used his superior size to control Couture on the mat and pounded him out for a TKO victory at 4:35 in the second round. This bout is obviously very controversial given the fact that Barnett tested positive for banned substances after the fight, but I felt that it was still worth the mention.

UFC 32: Josh Barnett vs. Semmy Schilt

June 29th, 2001

Prior to Barnett’s fight with Couture, Schilt was Barnett’s biggest (and most notable opponent). Schilt was a gargantuan Heavyweight standing 6ft 11 inches tall (7 inches taller than Barnett) and possessed some of the most dangerous striking out of any fighter in the Heavyweight division. Barnett, who took Schilt down to the mat immediately, swarmed the Ashihara Karate black belt with ground and pound and ultimately finished the bout via Armbar at 4:21 of the first round.