It seems as though Josh Barnett is the latest of many combat sports veterans to have his interest piqued by the concept of bare-knuckle boxing, as he’s arranged to meet an KSW ex-World Champion in Poland for a bout. Barnett is known for competing in MMA but has also made frequent appearances on the submission grappling and BJJ mats, but this will be the first time he competes in a sport that is limited to striking. He will compete against a Heavyweight knockout artist in Marcin Rozalski, a previous titleholder at KSW who’s had over 30 Kickboxing fights to go with his 22-8-1 MMA record.
Neither man has competed since 2018, with Rozalski’s last MMA fight being a 16-second knockout in 2017 and his last combat sports match being under Kickboxing rules against the legendary Peter Graham, winning by Decision. Barnett’s recent years have gone down a similar path, with his last MMA fight coming in 2016 when he took his record to 35-8 with a submission victory over Andrei Arlovski in the last fight of his UFC career. He’s only made one more combat sports appearance since then, a loss via Triangle Choke against Gordon Ryan at Quintet in 2018.
Josh Barnett has been signed to Bellator over the last few years and the promotion has made an effort to book him against Ronny Markes twice, with both fights being called off, but MMAfighting confirmed that they’ve signed off on his journey to Bare-Knuckle Boxing. Perhaps most interestingly of all, the fight will not be under the standard Bare-Knuckle Boxing rules as they will also be allowed to use elbow strikes. The match will take place under the Genesis banner on October 23rd and will be available to watch via pay-per-view.
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