UFC 164 will play host to a fight that many fans have been eager to see for a long time, as Josh Barnett faces off against Frank Mir in a Heavyweight clash. The two have fought long and storied careers, but at a parallel to each other. Finally the two will meet and I’m excited to see who is the better grappler.
Barnett, never short of a good interview, spoke with Bleacher Report about his upcoming clash with Mir:
"I think we've always kind of been in different places for both of our careers really, even when he was fighting for titles, no one ever took my belt from me, so I don't what belt they were putting around (his waist) but that wasn't the UFC Heavyweight title as far as I was concerned.”
As soon as Barnett re signed with the UFC, the obvious match up was Mir, for the fans and the rankings; it just makes sense.
"I was in Pride fighting the universally recognized top dudes in the world at the time. I come back to the UFC, and the UFC is now the premiere place to be for mixed martial arts in the world, but at this point Frank's best days have already occurred."
"I've got to be honest, a lot of Frank's relevancy was based on being in the UFC," Barnett said. "That's the way I see it. I want to how much potential there really is there by fighting him."
This fight is surely a huge draw for Jiu Jitsu and grappling fans, with 28 submission wins between them, and a BJJ black belt each. The winner of this match will arguably be the number two grappler on the planet, behind Fabricio Werdum, in my opinion.
"I don't think he's going to be able to find any training partners that can grapple the way I do" Barnett said. "Even still, I believe when it does hit the ground I can shut down his offense and make him pay for being underneath."
The UFC HW division is not very deep right now, and with Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos tying up the top; Barnett and Mir can get themselves in good standing with a win.
Who can pull through in a battle between catch wrestling and Jiu Jitsu? My gut tells me Mir.