However, a failed drug test led to Barnett being stripped of the belt. He would eventually leave the UFC, taking his talents around the globe.
Now, 11 years later, Barnett is back with the promotion, as he will face Frank Mir in August at UFC 164. He has won nine of his last 10 since a 2006 loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, including six submission victories.
“I thought the way things were going, the UFC trying to build its heavyweight division to epic status, it was a perfect fit,” said Barnett on Inside MMA. “They’re just going to keep lining up victims and I’m going to keep the guy at the morgue busy.”
Mir is coming off a pair of losses to Junior dos Santos and Daniel Cormier. Cormier also defeated Barnett when the two collided in the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.