If there's a weakness that Josh Barnett had coming into his fight with Brett Rogers, he no longer has it.
He's been knocked out by Pedro Rizzo, he's tapped out to Mirko Cro Cop's punches, he's lost two decisions, and he lost a fight due to an injury to his shoulder, but really speaking, his only problem as of late had nothing to do with striking, submissions, or doing whatever possible to win a three-round decision.
Especially considering he avenged his loss to Rizzo, the only weakness people have seen in Barnett's game is his ability to win a fight and pass the drug test afterwards.
Considering the opportunity Barnett has in front of him, it seems he has no reason to juice up, and that's a good thing considering the task at hand for him in the consummate slugger in Rogers, who is once again rocking a mohawk.
Barnett has always been a master of catch wrestling and he's been a good—albeit, not really elite—striker in his days as a fighter, and despite the majority of his post-Affliction fights happening overseas, we must not take the locations of Barnett's current six-fight win streak as proof that he is no longer the same man he was a couple of years ago, back when Barnett was the best heavyweight in the world not named Randy Couture or Fedor Emelianenko.
That catch wrestling must come into play against Rogers, who is a great striker but has only been to a decision one time in his career, and he's been to the second round three times, whereas Barnett is no stranger to the judges' hands, having won four decisions and losing only two.
Whatever Barnett has to do to take the fight to the ground, he is more than welcome to do, but implementing his Catch Wrestling and submission game is a must for this fight.
Barnett may look like he's back just for showing up to the weigh ins yesterday, but he has to prove that he has not lost his big-stage mojo in this fight tonight against the 11-2 heavyweight.