Josh Barnett has been around the sport of MMA since 1997, so to say he is a veteran is an understatement.

Barnett, a former UFC heavyweight champion, returns to action this weekend at UFC 164 against Frank Mir.

During the pre-fight press conference on Thursday, “The Warmaster” was asked about the changes from the last time he was with the UFC – which came in 2002.

“With the media exposure, you have a wider fan base,” Barnett said. “That gives you a greater opportunity to gather fans and be seen. Now you are able to have everybody see everything going on.

“It’s not like UFC 28 in Taj Mahal at Atlantic City where we were just fighting because it’s an opportunity to fight in the UFC. Nobody was watching us, no cable companies wanted to carry us; now, we have major alcohol sponsors, major television.”

Barnett has won nine of his last 10, with the lone loss coming by decision to Daniel Cormier.