After months of negotiations and shopping around, Barnett finally put pen to paper with the world's premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization earlier this month and is scheduled to collide with Frank Mir at UFC 164 in Milwaukee, Wis.., on Aug. 31, 2013.
It took a while for Barnett to settle on signing with the UFC, but once he took a closer look at the rapidly growing heavyweight division, he couldn't help but to be drawn in.
"I thought the way things were going, the UFC trying to build its heavyweight division to epic status, it was a perfect fit," Barnett said on Friday's (May 31, 2013) edition of AXS TV's "Inside MMA". "They're just going to keep lining up victims, and I'm going to keep the guy at the morgue busy."
A fight with Mir is one the MMA community has had interest in seeing since both men competed on the same UFC 34 fight card over a decade ago in Nov. 2001.
When Barnett's return to the Octagon finally became official, chatter of a fight between the two former champions and grappling specialists really began to pick up steam.
Days after, UFC officials announced Barnett vs. Mir for UFC 164 in a match up of two of the most successful heavyweight submission fighters in the history of the sport.
Mir will represent just the second top-10 ranked opponent Barnett has faced since 2006, which means Barnett may have to adjust his training to prepare for the world's top level of competition.
When asked if he would bring it anyone special to help prepare for his upcoming foe, the 35-year-old took the opportunity to launch what is sure to be the first of many jabs directed at Mir.
"I don't think we're going to have an imitator for Frank Mir," said Barnett." I just think that with that giant back piece tattoo it'll be hard to find somebody who can really fill in."
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