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Josh Barnett, Roy Nelson to meet in UFC Japan main event, coach against each other on reality show

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Josh Barnett is returning to the Octagon in a place he knows quite well.

"The Warmaster" will face Roy Nelson in the main event of UFC Fight Night Japan on Sept. 27 at Saitama Super Arena, the UFC announced Wednesday night. Barnett has had 12 of his career MMA fights in Japan and also has extensive experience in Japanese pro wrestling.

Not only will Barnett and Nelson be throwing down, they will also be coaching against each other in an Ultimate Fighter-like reality show called Road to the UFC: Japan that will air on Japanese television. The series will feature eight Japanese prospects competing against one another for a UFC contract. They will train both in their regular gyms and The Ultimate Fighter gym in Las Vegas. The finalists will meet at UFC Fight Night Japan in Saitama.

Barnett (33-7) has not competed since losing to Travis Browne back at UFC 168 in December 2013. Despite that, he is still ranked No. 5 among UFC heavyweight contenders. Barnett, 37, has been a pro since 1997 and one of the best heavyweights in the world for a large portion of that time. The Washington state native and Los Angeles resident has notable wins over the likes of Randy Couture, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mark Hunt.

Nelson (20-11) has lost two in a row and four of his last five fights. He is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 185 in March. "Big Country" remains one of the most popular and exciting heavyweights in the world due to big-time, one-punch knockout power. Nelson, 38, owns wins over Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop and Matt Mitrione.

No other fights have been announced for UFC Fight Night in Japan yet. The card will air on FOX Sports 1, according to UFC senior vice president of public relations Dave Sholler.

It will mark the UFC's fourth visit to the country and its second trip to Asia in 2015. UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. Faber is taking place Saturday in Manila.

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