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Former heavyweight champion Josh Barnett will return to the Octagon for the first time in 11 years on Aug. 31, when he meets Frank Mir at UFC 164 in Milwaukee, promotion officials said Wednesday night.
The announcement comes one week after Barnett (32-6) signed a multifight deal with UFC. Barnett, ranked sixth among heavyweights by ESPN.com, captured the UFC title from Randy Couture on March 22, 2002, with a second-round TKO. Shortly thereafter, Barnett tested positive for a banned substance and was stripped of the belt. He has not fought under the UFC banner since.
In his most recent outing, during Strikeforce's final event on Jan. 12, the 35-year-old Barnett submitted Nandor Guelmino in the first round.
Mir, ranked No. 9 among heavyweights by ESPN.com, will seek to snap a two-fight skid at UFC 164. The 34-year-old former lineal and interim UFC heavyweight champion is 16-7.