Although Alistair Overeem has had five fights in the UFC since joining the promotion back in 2012, he is yet to string together consecutive wins in the heavyweight division, which has significantly hampered his multiple title runs.
The intention behind this was to use Barnett as an emulator for Nelson's body type and athleticism. However, Overeem did not account for how big Barnett actually was.
"Oh my god, how big? He actually lied about his weight," Overeem told MMAFighting.com. "I forced him to get on the scale. I kinda felt like his weight was heavy. I asked him what he weighs in training - ‘I'm 308-pounds' he said giggling.
"That man could not be 308-pounds. He's too solid; he's too much of an issue to get off me. The f***er weighed 350-pounds - 100 pounds more than me.
While Barnett turned out to be 42 pounds heavier that he initially claimed, Overeem was surprised to find that "Huggy Bear" was still agile and athletic. Barnett is also on a seven-fight win streak dating back to 2010.
"But he is a very athletic guy; a very funny guy, and I actually like him a great deal. He has been a great sparring partner.
"He was the black Roy Nelson. The black ‘Country.'"