Antonio Silva Targeting Josh Barnett For UFC Return In the Fall

By Rick LaFitte
Antonio Silva lands punch on Mark Hunt during bloody heavyweight battle at UFC Fight Night 33
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Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva has an opponent in mind for his Octagon return. Silva, who is currently serving a nine-month suspension for high testosterone levels after his epic clash with Mark Hunt at Fight Night 33, is hoping to face Josh Barnett next. That’s according to the latest episode of UFC Tonight.

Barnett’s camp seems on board with the potential matchup, so it’s a fight that could become a reality. “The Warmaster” hasn’t fought since being stopped by Travis Browne in the first round of their fight at UFC 168. It was a disappointing turn of events after Barnett made a major statement in his UFC return, after an 11-year absence, by knocking out Frank Mir at UFC 164.

Silva has compiled a 2-2-1 record during his UFC tenure and holds notable victories over Alistair Overeem and Browne. His December fight in Australia against the “Super Samoan” was an absolute classic. The five-round bloodbath ended in a deserving draw and the exciting nature of that fight substantially raised the stock of both competitors. Silva ended up losing his $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus for failing the post-fight drug test.

The suspension has stalled Silva’s momentum, but he’s itching for a big test for his return in the fall. His only UFC losses have come against current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. Of “Bigfoot’s” 18 career victories, 16 have been produced by knockout or submission.

Barnett is a former UFC heavyweight champion who is hoping to get back to championship form. The Browne setback was a major blow at this late stage of his career, but the veteran catch wrestling specialist still remains a dangerous test for anyone. Barnett has produced 28 finishes in his 33 career victories. He holds notable wins over Randy Couture, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Hunt.

This would be a solid matchup to make involving a pair of current top-five contenders. Both fighters have shown a history of being involved in exciting fights and it’s a contest that matchmakers should seriously consider booking.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports

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