UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 features a key Heavyweight match-up as Josh Barnett (33-6 MMA; 5-1 UFC) faces Travis Browne (15-1-1 MMA; 6-1-1 UFC). This is the third of five fights on the main card live on PPV. The UFC Rankings have Browne as the #5 contender at Heavyweight, with Barnett just below him at #6. UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 airs live from Las Vegas this Saturday, December 28 with a fight time of 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT for the PPV main card.
This is a quality fight between two very different Heavyweight contenders. Browne and Barnett represent two men at very opposite ends of their careers. Browne is looking to fulfill his potential and earn his first UFC Heavyweight title shot, while Barnett is late in his career and looking for one last run to the top. That battle of youth vs. experience will determine who moves up the ladder here. According to Dana White, the winner here gets Fabricio Werdum in a #1 contenders fight next.
How do these two stack up?
Barnett: 36 years old | 6'4" | 78" reach
Browne: 31 years old | 6'7" | 80" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Josh Barnett has fought in pretty much every MMA organization you can think of. A true journeyman, Barnett has done it all, though has never found sustained success at the top level. Technically, he is a former UFC Heavyweight champion, but that belt was immediately stripped due to a failed drug test; in the modern era, the result likely would have been changed to a No Contest and Barnett's reign nullified. For now, he stands aside Vitor Belfort and Bas Rutten as the UFC's most dubious champions. If the catch wrestling expert wants to turn that around, this is likely his last shot.
Travis Browne was immediately hyped up upon his UFC arrival in 2010. The Greg Jackson product has been solid in the UFC, with the only blemishes being a draw against Cheick Kongo and a loss to Bigfoot Silva. He's coming off back to back impressive first round finishes. Still, something seems to be missing at times from Browne, as a gap still exist between the hype and the reality. A win here would certainly help bridge that tremendously.
Why should you care?
There's a chance this becomes an ugly clinch-fest, but it could also be a dynamic fight. Add in the major title and rankings implications, plus what it means to each man's career, and I am sold.
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