Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett will make his much-anticipated return, however in a ring as he takes on Marcin Rozalski in a bare-knuckle boxing match for KSW Genesis on October 23.
KSW Genesis is an offshoot of Poland’s famed KSW promotion. The bout will mark another chapter of the crazy 23-year career of legend Josh Barnett. The fight will take place with modified bare-knuckle boxing rules as elbows will be allowed.
Barnett being predominantly a grappler, it’ll be interesting how to see how he does in a striking bout that too after a hiatus at the age of 42. KSW made the fight announcement this week and released a poster for the fight. (via Twitter):
WOW!!! The Warmaster @JoshLBarnett will face former KSW heavyweight champ Marcin Rozalski on Oct 23 in Poland.
Bare Knuckle Style 👊 pic.twitter.com/Pq3d0PQ0Lf
— Alan Murphy (@AlanMurphyMMA) September 30, 2020
‘The Warmaster’ hasn’t fought since September 2016. The last time he fought, he submitted another veteran, former heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski to earn a fight and performance of the night bonus. He was then suspended for two years for a potential USADA doping violation from an out-of-competition test.
Josh Barnett – the legend and future Hall of Fame!
Barnett made his MMA debut back in January 1997. He has fought in almost every major MMA organization namely UFC, Pride, Strikeforce, DREAM, and Pancrase. He became the UFC heavyweight champion defeating Randy Couture at UFC 36 back in March 2002. He has wins over the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Hunt, Alexander Emelianenko, Pedro Rizzo, Frank Mir, Sergei Kharitonov, Roy Nelson, and Andrei Arlovski.
He was cleared to fight for the UFC in March 2018, when it was determined that his failed test was the result of a contaminated supplement. However, Barnett asked for his release due to a lack of trust in the USADA. (via MMA Junkie):
“It’s true that I have asked for my release, and we are discussing the terms now,” Barnett said. “Zuffa (parent company of the UFC) has been fantastic and above-board since I re-signed with the company (in 2013). Every promise made has been kept, and I have no disparaging words for them. After everything, I went through with USADA, and my vindication in that case, I don’t feel comfortable giving the control necessary to USADA that would continue my career in the UFC.”