Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett scored a third-round submission victory over fellow former UFC title holder Andrei Arlovski in the main event of UFC Fight Night 93 last night in Hamburg, Germany.
“The Warmaster”, who has gone 3-2 since returning to the UFC in August of 2013, was asked where he thinks he ranks in the heavyweight title picture at last night’s UFC Hamburg post-fight press conference:
“I don’t think in those modalities,” he said. “I think of just being able to perform at my best at any given moment, completely living in that immediate now. At this point, guys like me and Andrei, we’ve already won belts. You’ve got Overeem, there’s a slew of guys out there, of us in the heavyweight division that have proven that we are capable of being the world champion. Anywhere you put us. We’re always ready to take the challenge, and it’s always acceptable for us to be in the title fight.”
Next weekend the UFC will invade Cleveland, Ohio, for UFC 203 which is headlined by two major heavyweight contests. In the main event hometown hero Stipe Miocic will defend his UFC heavyweight championship for the first time against former Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
The evening’s co-main attraction will feature former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in a rematch with perennial contender Travis Browne.
Barnett knows that the heavyweight title picture may drastically change over the course of the next week and is prepared for whatever the fallout may be:
“If Overeem got injured out of nowhere or something, Andrei, myself, whomever, there are several of us out there that can slide right in and fight in that match, and that’s completely legitimate,” he said. “But the biggest thing that we can control is going out there and our performances that lie in front of us. It’s one at a time, and I’m sure a heavyweight championship fight could be in the future. But right now, all I was concerned with was fighting Andrei, taking him very seriously, and doing what I could to come out on top, and then moving on from there.”
Who would you like to see Josh Barnett square off with in his next octagon bout? Sound off PENN Nation!