Barnett to face Mir on UFC return

May 30, 2013
Josh Barnett is back under the UFC banner © Getty Images

Former heavyweight champion Josh Barnett will return to the Octagon for the first time in 11 years on August 31, when he meets Frank Mir at UFC 164 in Milwaukee, promotion officials said on Wednesday night.

The announcement comes one week after Barnett (32-6) signed a multifight deal with UFC. Barnett, ranked sixth among heavyweights by ESPN.com, captured the UFC title from Randy Couture on March 22, 2002, with a second-round TKO. Shortly thereafter, Barnett tested positive for a banned substance and was stripped of the belt. He has not fought under the UFC banner since.

In his most recent outing, during Strikeforce's final event on January 12, the 35-year-old Barnett submitted Nandor Guelmino in the first round.

Mir, ranked No. 9 among heavyweights by ESPN.com, will seek to snap a two-fight losing run at UFC 164. The 34-year-old former lineal and interim UFC heavyweight champion is 16-7.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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