Does The Winner Of Barnett vs. Browne Deserve A Title Shot?


Josh Barnett and Travis Browne are set to meet at UFC 168, in a battle between two highly touted MMA Heavyweights. Browne’s record stands at an  impressive 15-1-1, his only slip up was a first round TKO loss to ‘Bigfoot’ Silva. Barnett sports a 33-6 resume, most recently improving with a first round TKO of Frank Mir at 164.

With ‘The Warmaster’ long being considered the best outside of the UFC, and Browne holding a 5-1-1 promotional record; does this bout hold any implications in the division’s title picture? In the case of Barnett, he may well need another win before getting the show.

During his stint outside of the UFC (2002-13) Barnett has racked up some good wins, but often fallen at the biggest hurdles in his career. Losses to Daniel Cormier, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Mirko Filipovic x3 are overshadowed by his 19 wins in that time, but do represent the biggest names on his record.

Barnett did beat Antonio Nogueira, Mark Hunt, Pedro Rizzo, Sergei Kharitanov and a few others during his hiatus, but Mir represents his biggest win in seven years. Browne would probably take that place if Barnett should best him, and I would argue the case for ‘Warmaster’ to get a title contender bout with a win at 168.

‘Hapa, on the other hand, could easily be granted a title shot with a win against Barnett. Up until his 2012 loss to Antonio Silva, Browne’s biggest win was a superman punch KO win over Stefan Struve at UFC 130 (GIF credit: Zombie Prophet). He was then featured in the title contender bout with Silva, but has since beaten two reasonably big names in the promotion.

Browne returned with a vengeance at The Ultimate Fighter 17 finals, knocking Gabriel Gonzaga out with a flurry of vicious elbows to the side of the head. The brutality of his KO win that night was only equalled by that of his next fight against Dutch kick boxer Alistair Overeem.

‘Reem’ was coming off a TKO loss of his own against ‘Bigfoot’ and looked a new fighter ahead of the UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen event. The outcome was a convincing KO from behind by Browne, using a perfectly timed front kick after nearly being finished himself.

If Browne can score another knockout, or impressive win, against a veteran like Josh Barnett; it would be very hard to argue against him getting a title shot. That being said, if Barnett is able to dominate Browne there could easily be a very good chance that he is handed a shot too. The top end of the division is very congested right now, and 168 could be the ticket to the front of the queue for either man in this bout.

  • Either one should go through JDS first…. and that's the end of it!

    • Yeah, JDS is without a worthy opponent right now and Cain just had surgery. The winner of this fight should fight JDS. However, If Junior wins there's a tricky situation in that there are no other contenders but Junior but it just doesn't make sense to book Cain vs JDS 4

      • JDS is the Vitor Belfort of the HW division right now (as matter of fact, he's in an even worse position, having lost twice to Cain, not to mention HOW he lost!) He's gonna have to beat up at least 3 or 4 guys before there's any talks of a Cain vs JDS 4.

        So i don't think the situation is very tricky at all. Nr.2 or not, he needs to beat some guys!

        • TheXperience, But what if JDS beat the winner of Barnett vs Browne, and Cain beat Werdum, who will be the next opponent for Velasquez?? That makes things a bit complicated!

          • Not really…. he'll just have to fight Werdum and if The Reem beat Mir, there's him too. After that, who knows what the rankings will look like and JDS might loose and have to fight some lower ranked guys. They don't have to be top 5. The champ whooped his a-s-s twice, so he has to climb up the ladder again and might have to fight some guys he already beat. He has something to prove right now.

  • What about Werdum, wasnt he next in the line?

    • He should be fighting Cain next, but the UFC has expressed their desire for him to take a fight rather than waiting on Cain to recover

      • Good info. With that at the forefront, the winner of Barnett and Brown would have to wait quite a while for a title shot.

        • Yeah that's why the winner needs to fight JDS…

  • The winner of this Vs Mark Hunt would be good. Werdum is sitting around twiddling his thumbs too.

  • The winner should most definitely get the next shot. Specially Barnett who is in a more common and common position now days. Barnett is good, experienced, but hes getting old. Every day is like month for Barnett. It's amazing hes made it this far, he needs to be given the next shot if he beats Browne and vice versa.