Veteran heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett will top the bill when the Ultimate Fighting Championship makes its debut in Hamburg, Germany.
The five-round matchup was announced by the promotion on Monday. UFC Fight Night “Arlovski vs. Barnett” takes place Sept. 3 at Hamburg’s Barclaycard Arena; the show will also feature a light heavyweight contest between Ryan Bader and Ilir Latifi.
Despite nearly 40 years and 80 bouts of experience between them, longtime heavyweight rankers Arlovski and Barnett have never come face to face. The matchup was briefly scheduled for Affliction “Day of Reckoning” in 2009, but Barnett ultimately wound up fighting Gilbert Yvel on that card, while Arlovski would go up against Fedor Emelianenko.
Arlovski, 37, has hit a skid in 2016, with back-to-back knockout losses ending a fairytale run which brought the Belarusian to the brink of title contention. “The Pit Bull” was punched out in 54 seconds by Stipe Miocic in January and then stopped by Alistair Overeem in the second round of their May 8 encounter.
Barnett, 38, has competed sporadically in recent years, logging just two bouts in the past two years. “The Warmaster” earned a five-round unanimous decision over Roy Nelson in September, but Barnett’s momentum was halted in January when he tapped out to a modified guillotine choke from Ben Rothwell.