Tonight (August 31, 2013), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for UFC 164 at the HMO Harris Bradley Center. The card is headlined by Benson Henderson looking to defend his UFC Lightweight belt against the last man to defeat him, Anthony Pettis.
However, in the co-main event, two former UFC Heavyweight champions clash in what should be one of the best fights of the night. Josh Barnett makes his long awaited UFC return after leaving the promotion in 2002 to go fight in Japan. His opponent is Frank Mir, one of the top submission experts in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
The spoke with Ariel Helwani following the UFC 164 weigh ins an discussed their first meeting back when Barnett was the champion of the promotion and Mir was making his debut. The whole exchange is pretty awkward and totally worth a watch.
Josh Barnett: No not at all. I didn't really know Frank. I actually never got the opportunity to speak with him and know the person that he is. My experiences, I just remember seeing him early on and getting a thousand yard star sitting at a table one time in Vegas. I turned to my girlfriend at the time and going "I don't know why that guy's got a problem with me" but it was probably the want to be where I was at.
Frank Mir: I obviously was staring over at Josh. He was the champ and I was just coming in. I guess maybe the friendly hand wasn't extended over in my direction. At the time I was the newcomer coming in and looking at the guys at the top of the hill. I think Josh is a very competitive individual. I don't think anybody would say otherwise. So me being in the same weightclass, he had a standoffish attitude. Obviously, I'm always looking to spoil everybody's arrival. I don't want to make it easy for Josh in his debut. And if he's on a highlight reel, I hope it's on the end he doesn't want to me.
Josh Barnett: Of course he is. I would expect no less. And if he doesn't, I would be disappointed. I could say I am the meat tenderizer for Big Nog for everybody at this point. I put him through some real hell. At the end of the day, fights are fights and you want the best not only out of yourself but of your opponent. Because at least that day, you can say you beat the best that somebody had to offer.
Be sure to follow all the action for tonight's fights on MMAMania.com