Barnett will meet Nelson on Saturday in Saitama, Japan, which will mark the first time he’s fought since December, 2013, when he was KO’d by Travis Browne. The defeat followed Barnett’s triumphant Octagon return in August of that year, when he put away Frank Mir.
Recently Barnett spoke to UFC.com about the upcoming fight, and his extensive history competing in Japan. While doing so, Barnett had this to say about his hopes for this Saturday:
“For me, it’s not enough to just go out there and win,” said Barnett. “Arlovski and Mir just went out there and had a fight where a guy just won, but people don’t talk about the fight because of what a knockdown, drag ‘em-out fight it was and one fighter had to endure difficulties to get his hand raised; they talk about how it was a terrible fight and watching two people that were out of shape and didn’t really want it.
“I’m sure they still both wanted to win and were pushing with what they could; they just didn’t give themselves the gas tank they needed.”
Now Barnett better hope his headlining fight with Nelson provides some fireworks huh? Although, even the biggest Arlovski and Mir fans would concede their recent fight was a let down. Arlovski won the September 5th bout via unanimous decision.
Barnett-Nelson is a big fight for both guys. Both men need a win to remain a top ranked heavyweight, particularly Nelson, who is 1-4 in his last 5 fights.