Two MMA legends face each other in the main event of UFC Fight Night 93 in what could be their final shot at regaining UFC glory.
Former UFC Heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett will square off in Hamburg, Germany on September 3rd. The fight was announced by the UFC on Monday:
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 30, 2016
A lot of history stands between Arlovski and Barnett. The two were supposed to fight each other at Affliction:Day of Reckoning nearly 10 years ago, but that bout was postponed and Affliction later folded. They have a total of 80 fights and more than three decades of fighting experience between them.
Arlovksi won the UFC Heavyweight title by defeating Tim Sylvia at UFC 51. The Belarusian Pitbull defended the title twice before losing it to Sylvia in 2006. Arlovski also lost to Sylvia in a grudge match, also for the UFC Heavyweight title, four months after their second fight. Since then Arlovski’s made several stops in various MMA organizations worldwide.
He almost retired in 2011 after four consecutive losses but persevered and found his way back to the UFC in 2014. Arlovski opened his second UFC stint with four straight wins before losing his last two bouts to Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem, who incidentally will dispute the UFC Heavyweight title one week after UFC Fight Night 93.
Barnett, meanwhile, won the UFC title at UFC 32, knocking out Randy Couture. After he was stripped of the title due to a failed drug test, Barnett moved on to become the Pancrase Heavyweight title. He eventually ended up fighting in Japan where he made a name for himself in the PRIDE organization.
Barnett also found success in the Strikeforce promotion where he lost to current UFC Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Finals in 2012. Like Arlovski, Barnett made it back to the UFC. He’s not been as successful though, having only an even record of 2-2 in his UFC return and losing to Ben Rothwell in his most recent bout.
Arlovski is 37 and Barnett 38, so while there is no belt or title shot on the line, this is an all-important bout for both fighters. The winner moves on to live for another day. while the loser here could be riding to the sunset. It’s very likely the winner moves on for one last title shot, while the loser fades away. Odds haven’t been released yet, but given how good both fighters are, what’s on the line and the fact that this is the first time they’ll face each other, it’s got to be a close call.
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