Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett and Roy Nelson went the full five rounds Saturday night in a grueling main event at UFC Fight Night 75.
Barnett earned the win, scoring his first victory in Japan since 2010. “The Warmaster” has competed in both MMA and pro wrestling for years in the country, and remains on the cusp of title-contention with his first win since 2013.
“It was all due to the hard training,” Barnett said. “(My team) was pushing me in practice.
“The clinch work wasn’t good enough; nothing I did was good enough, but it was a good starting point.”
Barnett (34-7) has finished 28 of his opponents, but could not take Nelson out. The two exchanged after, and Barnett congratulated the former Ultimate Fighter winner for his incredible chin.
After sitting out all of 2014 after a loss to Travis Browne, Barnett was pushed to the fifth round for the first time since a 2012 decision loss in Strikeforce to Daniel Cormier.
“Thank you Japan,” he said, adding several of his answers in the native tongue of the country.