UFC 168 already features two milestone rematches in Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva for the middleweight title, and women’s champ Ronda Rousey putting her belt on the line against Miesha Tate.
The UFC has now added a heavyweight showcase between former UFC champion Josh Barnett and rising contender Travis Browne to the Dec. 28 fight card in Las Vegas. UFC officials on Tuesday confirmed the bout first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Barnett (33-6) recently won his return bout to the Octagon, knocking out Frank Mir at UFC 164 in Milwaukee. That gave Barnett his tenth victory in his last 11 bouts. The lone black mark during that stretch was a unanimous decision loss to Daniel Cormier in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix final.
The victory over Mir immediately threw Barnett back into the mix at the top of the UFC heavyweight division, but he’ll have to find his way past a hungry young buck at UFC 168.
Browne (15-1-1) enters the fight coming off of back-to-back knockouts of Alistair Overeem and Gabriel Gonzaga, two former UFC heavyweight title contenders. His only career slips were a TKO stoppage at the hands of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and a draw with Cheick Kongo.
Browne has been steadily rising up the division, but a victory over Barnett would catapult him right into the thick of title talk, as well.