Former PRIDE star and Affliction grim reaper Josh Barnett (24-5) will officially make his return to competition against Siala "Mighty Mo" Siliga (3-1) at the upcoming DREAM 13 event on March 22 in Yokohama, the promotion announced today.
Stateside fans can catch all the overseas action at 3 a.m. ET on HDNet.
Last summer, Barnett tested positive for steroid during the pre-fight drug test ahead of his highly anticipated showdown with Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: "Trilogy."
The subsequent denial of his license to fight in California wreaked havoc on the floundering T-shirt company, prompting not only the cancellation of the "Trilogy" event, but also the demise of it's MMA division.
Since then, his quest to regain license to fight in California has become a prolonged ordeal. Last month, his appeal of the denial of license was delayed for the fourth time, further complicating the legal burden on his fighting career.
Meanwhile, he has kept himself busy with pro-wrestling gigs with Inoki Genome Foundation and participation in several No-Gi grappling competitions.
Barnett's signing with DREAM comes as no surprise: Given his name value in Japanese MMA and pro-wrestling, laxity toward the use of performance enhancing drugs in Japan, and stigma he has incurred in the US, DREAM has loomed as a logical destination for him. Also, the rumored signings of Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia to DREAM and the ongoing alliance between DREAM and Strikeforce will present him a few potential big matches.
Siala "Mighty Mo" Siliga, last fought a MMA match at Dynamite!! 2008 against Semmy Schilt. The Samoan kickboxer and boxer known for his devastating overhand right, has crushed three tomato cans before suffering his first loss in MMA against Schilt.
It looks like the second loss in MMA is forthcoming: Despite more than a year and half away from competition, formerly top-ranked Barnett is beyond what a MMA neophyte like "Mighty Mo" is capable of handling, save a puncher's chance.
Here is the complete DREAM 13 fight card:
Josh Barnett vs. Siala "Mighty Mo" Siligia
Cole Escovedo vs. Yoshiro Maeda
Bibiano Fernandes vs. Joachim Hansen
Kuniyoshi Hironaka vs. Katsunori Kikuno
Andre "Dida" Amade vs. K.J. Noons
Ryo Chonan vs. Andrews Nakahara
Jimmy Ambriz vs. Ikuhisa Minowa
For all the latest on DREAM 13 check out our event archive here.