Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett will meet Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga in a featured matchup at Dream 13 on Monday at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohma, Japan. Fighting and Entertainment Group has finalized a seven-bout lineup for the event, the promotion’s first since October.
Under suspension in the United States after failing a test for suspected steroid use, Barnett has not fought since he struck Gilbert Yvel into submission at Affliction “Day of Reckoning” 14 months ago. A finalist in the 2006 Pride Fighting Championships open weight grand prix, the 32-year-old has rattled off four consecutive victories, three of them finishes. Wins over UFC hall of famers Randy Couture and Dan Severn, Brazilian legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Pride veteran Aleksander Emelianenko and four-time K-1 World Grand Prix winner Semmy Schilt anchor Barnett’s resume. He has secured more than half (15) of his 24 career victories by submission.
Siliga has not competed in mixed martial arts since he submitted to a triangle choke from Schilt at a K-1 show in December 2008. Based in California, the 39-year-old kickboxer has never gone the distance in four professional bouts. Siliga holds first-round knockout victories against Strikeforce veteran Ruben Villareal and 1996 Olympic silver medalist Min Soo Kim.
A featherweight title fight pitting defending champion Bibiano Fernandes against Joachim Hansen will headline the event.
Fernandes last competed in October, when he submitted Joe Warren and earned a split decision over World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Hiroyuki Takaya to win the 2009 Dream featherweight grand prix. A four-time Mundials champion, the 29-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has pieced together a six-fight winning streak since suffering back-to-back losses to Urijah Faber and Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto.
Hansen finds himself on the rebound following his second-round submission loss to Shinya Aoki at Dream 11 five months ago. The 30-year-old Norwegian has never been knocked out in 28 career bouts and owns notable victories against Aoki, one-time Pride lightweight king Takanori Gomi, American Top Team standout Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, and former two-division Deep champion Masakazu Imanari.