Epic adds Phil De Fries vs. Josh Barnett grappling match

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A return to competition is imminent for former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, who will take on current KSW heavyweight champ Phil De Fries in a submission grappling match at โ€œKSW: Epicโ€ on Feb. 24 in Gliwice, Poland.

KSW announced the matchup Friday on social media.

Barnett, 46, hasnโ€™t competed in MMA since September 2016, but heโ€™s sparingly partaken in grappling matches. He most recently competed at the 2023 Catch Wrestling World Championship event in October, losing a decision against Owen Livesey.

De Fries, a one-time Bellator and former UFC fighter, has proven to be KSWโ€™s greatest champion with nine consecutive title defenses dating back to October 2018. De Fries, 37, most recently defeated Szymon Bajor by rear-naked choke technical submission last July at KSW 84.

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