Josh Barnett is looking to jump right back into the deep end of the heavyweight division when he makes his return from the sidelines.
MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani reported on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight that Barnett, who is recovering from a knee injury, is interested in a match-up against fellow former champion Junior dos Santos in his return fight.
The former UFC heavyweight champion has been away from the cage since his first round KO loss to Travis Browne in December at UFC 168. Before suffering the loss to Browne, Barnett had made a successful return to the UFC, where he defeated Frank Mir via TKO.
Even though he has been away from the octagon for over four months, Barnett is still placed at No. 5 in the UFC rankings. His resume includes wins over the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Hunt and Randy Couture, and he would now like to add dos Santos to that list.
Dos Santos has not fought since losing the trilogy fight to Cain Velasquez back at UFC 166. He was scheduled to meet Stipe Miocic in the TUF Brazil Finale last month but suffered a broken hand during a training session and was forced to withdraw from the main event. With no opponents lined up, a match-up against Barnett would certainly be a compelling one for the fans.