Josh Barnett (33-7) will come face to face with Roy “Big Country” Nelson (20-11) tomorrow night as part of UFC Fight Night 75 in the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and will be broadcasted live on Fox Sports 1.
Barnett has fought all over the world in the UFC, Pride FC and Strikeforce. However here is his top 5 best or biggest wins of his star-studded mixed martial arts career.
5. Josh Barnett def. Sergei Kharitonov via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 4:28 of Round 1 at Strikeforce: Cincinnati
Josh Barnett had defeated Brett Rogers by arm-triangle choke in the second round of their Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal contest and Sergei had knocked out former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski in the first round of their quarterfinal. The pair met in 2011 in a long awaited confrontation that had mixed martial arts fans salivating. Barnett won close to the end of the first round but would go on to lose in the Finals to current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier. Sergei has been on fire in Asia and has since won 5 straight fights all coming by way of stoppage
4. Josh Barnett def. Frank Mir via TKO (Knees) at 1:56 in Round 1 at UFC 164.
This bout would serve as Barnett’s return to the UFC in over a decade. What better way to welcome the former champion back then to pit him against the most established UFC Heavyweight in the history of the UFC? Mir was coming off of consecutive losses to former champion Junior Dos Santos and current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier. Mir was in desperate need for a win and came out guns blazing, however it wasn’t meant to be as Barnett was able to ground Mir with a barrage of knees to put the veteran away. Mir would go 2-2 after that and Barnett would go on to lose to Travis Browne.
3. Josh Barnett def. Antonio “Big Nog” Nogueira via Split Decision at Pride Final Conflict Absolute
Barnett used his submission skills to get by the first two rounds of the Pride Grand Prix by tapping out Alexander Emelianenko via Americana in round 2 at Pride: Total Elimination Absolute and Mark Hunt via Kimora in the first round at Pride: Critical Countdown Absolute. Josh advanced to the semifinals to take on Antonio Nogueira who submitted Wagner Martins via armbar in round 1 at Pride: Total Elimination Absolute and won a unanimous decision over current UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum at Pride: Critical Countdown Absolute. Josh would win a highly contested back and forth bout via split-decision but would lose their rematch at Pride Shockwave via unanimous decision. Josh also lost the final of the Pride tournament to Mirko Cro Cop by way of submission (punches) in round 1 at Pride: Final Conflict Absolute.
2. Josh Barnett def. Yuki Kondo via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:26 of Round 3 at Pancrase 10th Anniversary Show.
Barnett was riding a 4 fight winning streak and was a fight removed from the stripping of his UFC Heavyweight Title. In his first fight with Pancrase he competed for the promotions top prize, the Pancrase Open-Weight Championship against Yuki Kondo. Kondo was the feature attraction for Pancrase and competed at all most all of their events, he hadn’t been finished since his UFC Light Heavyweight title loss to Tito Ortiz via cobra choke in round 1 at UFC 29 in Tokyo. Condo’s only loss in Pancrase before his match up with Josh was 4 years earlier to kickboxing ace Semmy Schilt at Pancrase: Breakthrough 10. This bout is number 2 on the list because it was Barnett’s second title and first that wasn’t stripped.
1. Josh Barnett def. Randy Couture via TKO at 4:35 of Round 2 at UFC 36 for UFC Heavyweight Title.
A video was unable to be found so hopefully these pictures will suffice. Barnett came into this contest winning back-to-back submissions over Semmy Schist in Round 1 via armbar at UFC 32 and Bobby Hoffman via punches in Round 2 at UFC 34. Randy won the UFC Heavyweight Title by defeating Kevin Randleman via 3rd round TKO at UFC 28 and successfully defended it twice against Pedro Rizzo, defeating him via unanimous decision at UFC 31 and TKO in round 3 at UFC 34. Barnett would win in this pairing however after testing positive for banned substances he was subsequently stripped of the UFC Heavyweight Championship.