A high-profile heavyweight bout Travis Browne Vs. Josh Barnett is set to take place at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Review Journal earlier reported the matchup on Tuesday. The pay-per-view event will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Both Barnett and Browne are ranked in the top 10 in the division, Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, according to ESPN.com.
Barnett (33-6) is coming off a dominant first-round TKO win against Frank Mir at UFC 164 last month. He boasts a 10-1 record in his last 11 fights.
A 16-year veteran of martial arts, Barnett’s appearance at UFC 164 marked his first in the UFC since 2002. He is a former heavyweight champion within the promotion. He won the heavyweight belt at UFC 36 in a TKO win over Randy Couture.
Browne (15-1-1) is looking to secure his first UFC title opportunity. The 31-year-old has posted back-to-back first-round stoppages, the most recent coming against Alistair Overeem via a highlight reel front kick.
A member of Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Albuquerque, N.M., Browne’s only loss came against Antonio Silva after he suffered a leg injury in the first round.
A middleweight title fight between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva is scheduled to headline UFC 168.
By Jesse Holland
Assuming Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) follows through with its plans to pair him off against Stipe Miocic.
Browne (15-1) is coming off back-to-back knockout wins since getting stepped on by “Bigfoot” Silva last year in Minneapolis. Prior to his come-from-behind win over “Demolition Man” at UFC Fight Night 26 (video), the Hawaiian beat the brakes off former division number one contender Gabriel Gonzaga.
I guess Josh Barnett was unavailable.
Outside of “The Warmaster,” there is no one else above “Hapa” — currently ranked at number five — in a position to throw hands. Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos settle their score at UFC 166, Daniel Cormier is tied up with Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum is playing the waiting game.
Silva, Overeem and Frank Mir are also committed to future fights.
That leaves Miocic (10-1), who all things considered, is not a bad option. What he lacks in name value he makes up for in skill. Like Browne, the up-and-coming heavyweight has just one loss on his record, which came against Stefan Struve nearly one year ago in Nottingham.
He quickly rebounded by outpointing the aforementioned Nelson back in June.
Though announced on last night’s edition of UFC Tonight, no date or event has been established for this potential pairing; however, UFC 168 and UFC on FOX 9 — both in December — are potential candidates. Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more details as they emerge.
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