Travis Browne enlisted the help of Josh Barnett, as he trained to fight Alexey Oleynik on July 8th, but “Hapa” had to issue an apology in order to make that happen? Why’s that?
As you likely recall, Browne and Barnett squared off at UFC 168 in 2013. Browne finished the fight in quick and emphatic fashion, by knocking Barnett out with vicious elbows in round one. After the win, Browne proceeded to do the slashing throat motion, which as any longtime fan knows, is Barnett’s shtick.
Well, recently Browne talked to the media in advance of his UFC 213 bout with Oleynik. While discussing how he went about apologizing to Barnett for his post-fight actions, Browne reported this (quote via MMA Fighting):
“I let my guard down a little bit and I just told him, look dude, we fought, everything happened the way it happened,” Browne said. “I was jacked. I was like ‘holy sh*t,’ right? The biggest win of my career. It was emotional, it was adrenaline, I did his move after the fight, and I just looked at him and said, ‘Man, I’m sorry. I’m not making excuses. I’m telling you right now that I was wrong for me to do that. That’s your thing.’ It wasn’t a jab at him, it wasn’t meant to be like ‘F you’ or anything like that.
“I took fault for that, to his face, sitting across the table from him. I gave him a chance to speak and I listened. I didn’t know if he was going to be be, ‘Hey man, that’s cool for me to do,’ or if he was going to be like ‘Hey man, f*ck you.’ He was a man about it. He told me he would coach me. He’s working with me. He took it the best way I could ever imagine.”
There you have it. It will be interesting to see how Browne performs against Oleynik, and whether he trains with Barnett again moving forward. The heavyweight also relayed he wanted to train with Barnett, since the latter is a ridiculously good grappler, like Oleynik.
UFC 213 will be hosted by the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.