Josh Barnett vs. Roy Nelson headlines UFC’s return to Japan
A long-awaited heavyweight bout will finally go down on Sept. 27 as Josh Barnett meets Roy Nelson at UFC Fight Night from Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
UFC officials announced the new matchup late Wednesday night.
The fight will run in conjunction with a new reality show the UFC is producing called ‘Road to UFC: Japan’ where eight Japanese fighters will train under Barnett and Nelson similar to "The Ultimate Fighter" but aired in Japan.
As for the fight, Barnett and Nelson will meet in a five-round main event in Japan to cap off the reality show in September.
Barnett will return to action for the first time in nearly two years, when the former UFC heavyweight champion fell to Travis Browne by knockout in December 2013. He hasn’t been seen in the Octagon since.
Barnett was most recently filming some movie roles as well as coaching fighters, but now he’s ready to get his own career back into gear.
Nelson will enter the fight in a do-or-die situation after going just 1-4 in his last five bouts. Nelson lost by knockout to Mark Hunt in his most recent trip to Japan this past September before dropping a lopsided decision to Alistair Overeem in March.
The former "Ultimate Fighter" winner will look to get back on track as he faces Barnett in a fight between two of the most battle-tested heavyweights on the roster.
UFC Fight Night in Japan is expected to air live on the UFC’s digital streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.