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By: Rich Hansen, MMATorch Columnist
UFC ON FOX 18
JANUARY 30, 2016
LIVE FROM NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
UFC on Fox 18 hits the Prudential Center today, with a four fight main card hitting network television. Topped by a light heavyweight bout between Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader. We'll have results on the prelims here throughout the afternoon (note: we'll have commentary on some of today's later prelim bouts, with simple results early on during the event), followed by a full play by play on the four fight main card. Stick with us here throughout the day!
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=====UFC Fight Pass Prelims Quick Results=====
-Tony Martin vs. Felipe Olivieri
Tony Martin by technical submission (rear naked choke) at 3:02 of Round 3
-Levan Makashvili vs. Damon Jackson
Majority Draw (29-27 Jackson, 28-28, 28-28)
-Matt Dwyer vs. Randy Brown
Randy Brown by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
=====Fox Sports 1 Prelims======
-Alex Caceres vs. Masio Fullen (Featherweight)
ROUND ONE: Both guys are working the kicks early. Caceres is landing to the body effectively. And there's one to the leg as well. Caceres ran into a short right from Fullen, but Caceres handled it well. Fullen follows up a few seconds later with a nice left hook. Caceres throws a left high kick. He's been timing Fullen well. Caceres is doing a fine job of controlling the cage and cutting off Fullen. Nice 360 spinning roundhouse kick from Caceres, and he followed with a left hand to the face. That's been the most significant blow so far. Caceres grabs Fullen and trips him down momentarily. Fullen eats a high knee in the clinch against the fence. Caceres lands a good knee to the midsection as they separate. 10-9 Caceres
ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves and we're back to action. Fullen lands an immediate right hand. Fullen's doing a better job deflecting and avoiding the plethora of kicks Caceres has. Fullen lands a spinning back kick. Caceres felt that. Caceres lands a good combination of kicks a few seconds later. Fullen just misses with a heat seaking missile of a right uppercut. Caceres is determined to control the center of the cage tonight. Hard leg kick from Fullen spun Caceres in a circle. High kick from Caceres lands. Caceres has been effective in mixing up the kicks, both right left as well as high low. Fullen lands a hard right. His boxing has been his best weapon tonight. Knee to the body from Caceres and Fullen winced from that. Caceres initiates a clinch and puts Fullen up against the fence. 30 second stalemate and they pull apart. Fullen charges in a clips a retreating Caceres with a left hook. Caceres lands a high roundhouse knee. They're clinched up again. Caceres lands a couple of knees from there. 10-9 Caceres
ROUND THREE: Fullen comes out aggressively, but doesn't land anything of notice. Good leg kick from Caceres, matched by Fullen with one of his own. Caceres still owns the middle of the cage. High side kick from Caceres. 360 spin into a leg kick from Caceres. Lots of bouncing, but not much action here. A leaping front kick from Fullen barely grazes Caceres' afro. But it looked cool. Two minutes remain. Fullen probably needs a finish, and it doesn't look like he has the power to put anyone down tonight. Fullen lands a left uppercut, but I don't think Caceres felt it. Caceres initiates a clinch and lands a knee to the body. Shortly thereafter he lands a nice high kick. Fullen catches Caceres with a big left hook, and Caceres gets the hell out of there. Caceres briefly drops Fullen with a couple of uppecuts, but Fullen popped up so fast it may have been a slip. Caceres is pouring on the pressure and landing combinations of kicks to end the lopsided fight. 10-9 Caceres
WINNER: Alex Caceres by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (**) Nothing wrong with that fight. Neither of these guys could punch through a sheet of paper, but it was aesthetically pleasing.
-George Sullivan vs. Alexander Yakovlev (Welterweight)
ROUND ONE: Nice exchange of kicks in the first minute of the fight. Yakovlev initiates a clinch against the cage, but nothing really comes of it. Yakovlev hits a takedown and gets straight to side mount. He's looking to sneak into mount, and he gets it. Sullivan gives up his back, but he's using the fence to keep Yakovlev from getting his hooks in. Sullivan is working to get to his feet, but Yakovlev stays on his back. Sullivan gets free, but eats a couple knees for his efforts. Yakovlev lands a good low leg kick. Sullivan lands one of his own. Yakovlev throws a two punch combo, the second being a right hook that drops Sullivan. Two or three punches on the ground, and Yakovlev's got a clean KO win.
WINNER: Alexander Yakovlev by KO at 3:59 of round one.
STAR RATING: (**) There was nothing wrong with this fight. Yakovlev was clearly superior before the KO, and even more clearly superior once that right hook landed. I mean, go figure, right?
-And now it's time to make the internet bitch about pacing. We'll be back after they beg us to watch the main event of the fight card we're already watching.
-Dustin Ortiz vs. Wilson Reis (Flyweight)
ROUND ONE: Ortiz looks like he's in the best shape of his career, now that he's ever looked out of shape. Ortiz lands a good head kick, which Reis only partially blocked. Ortiz is determined to get inside but isn't doing anything once he gets there. Low kick from Reis. Reis backs Ortiz into the fence and gets him down with a single. Ortiz back up, Reis clinches and muscles him back down. Reis tries to get the back, but Ortiz shakes free. Back to the middle of the cage. Reis lands a decent straight left. Reis has landed more frequently, but nothing significant to this point. Good knee from Ortiz to counter Reis' takedown attempt. Reis manages to muscle Ortiz back to the cage, but nothing comes of it. Ortiz shoots a single, but he gets stuffed and Reis takes his back. Reis lands a doube leg right before the horn blows. 10-9 Reis
ROUND TWO: Furious exchange at the beginning of the round, highlighted by a good left hand from Reis. Ortiz goes for a takedown with no setup, but he got stuffed. Reis grabbed his neck, and Ortiz has to be happy to get out of that self-imposed predicament. Reis presses Ortiz against the fence and is looking for a trip takedown. Ortiz gets his legs free, but Reis manages to get behing him. Ortiz gets free, and we're back to the middle. Nice body kick from Ortiz. Reis lands a hard right hand. Ortiz gets inside and looks for a trip, but Reis powers Ortiz off of him. Nice switch kick from Reis. ORtiz lands a right hand that Reis is going to remember in the morning. Ortiz catches a kick and goes inside. He doesn't get the takedown, and Reis yet again powers Ortiz into the cafe. Ortiz' gameplan seems to be faulty. Another shot from the outside from Ortiz, another stuff from Reis. Reis takes him down on the fence, but Ortiz climbs back to his feet. Reis gets Ortiz down in the middle of the cage and gets full back mount with both hooks. Ortiz has a minute to avoid a submission here, but he's going to be down 2-0 very soon. Reis is looking for a choke, although the arm was available too. Ortiz is defending well. Reis rolls to his back and is working for Ortiz' left arm. He almost got it, but the bell sounded. Ortiz needs a finish. 10-9 Reis
ROUND THREE: Ortiz lands a high kick early, and then a right hand finds home on Reis' jaw as well. Reis gets ORtiz into the fence and gets on Ortiz' back. Ortiz is on one knee, but gets Reis off his back. Momentarily, that is. Reis takes him down and gets on the back of Ortiz. Ortiz keeps Reis at bay and manages to get back up. Ortiz needs to keep Reis at distance. Nice left from Ortiz, but Reis gets inside and bum rushes Ortiz into the fence yet again. He's on the back of Ortiz, and gets Ortiz down with a sneaky trip. Back elbow from Ortiz. Another slam from Reis. Ortiz back up, but with Reis all over him. Reis is the far superior grappler here. Fantastic reversal from Ortiz, but he can't do anything and Reis gets free. Takedown from Reis, and straight to mount. Ortiz gives up his back, and we're down to one minute left. Assuming Ortiz makes it to the bell. Reis is pounding away until Ortiz manages to get one of Reis' hooks off of him. Ortiz back to his feet, but he's in a bad position. It's over. 10-9 Reis
WINNER: Wilson Reis by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (**-) Less that it was bad, but more so because of how repetitive and predictable it was. Ortiz seemed to think he could hang with Reis in a grappling affair. He couldn't. Reis was superior in every facet of grappling, and appeared to be vastly more powerful as well. Everytime Ortiz got inside he got shoved into the fence in a matter of seconds.
-Kevin Casey vs. Rafael Natal and his great body and his beautiful girlfriend (Middleweight)
ROUND ONE: Casy is a Rickson Gracie black belt. Natal has his under Renzo. So, time for some K-1 level kickboxing. Casey's swinging for the fences. And has landed a couple strong left hands. Natal shoots for a takedown, but Casey got his neck. Natal winds up with his back on the fence. Casey is working hard on a single leg, but Natal maintains his balance. Natal tries to explode off the cage, but Casey moved his feet very well and kept the position. Casy lands a knee from the clinch and an uppercut, but Natal took advantage of the space created and got free. Natal goes to the body from southpaw. Casey poked Natal's eye and immediately backed off. Natal is fine, and waved off the ref. Classy, and not in a Mike Goldberg Thinks Everyone And Everything Is Classy kind of way. Natal with a takedown, but Casey worked back up. Casey hits a takedown of his own, and steps over looking for mount. Natal uses the fence to get back to his feet, and Casey backs off. Casey's swinging for the fences again. Natal's eye is either red or bleeding. From the eye poke? Casey lands a couple of big right hands, but Natal drops Casey right as the horn sounds! Casey's head didn't hit the canvas, and they cut to commercial as Rogan was screaming. 10-9 Casey
ROUND TWO: Natal landed a great right hand while Casey was swinging wildly. It was a big punch, but Casey seems ok. Beginning of round two, and Casey eats a kick to the cup. Good timing for Casey. I mean, if you're going to take a kick to the cup, do it while the cobwebs are still in there. No point deduction. Referee is practically begging Casey to take the full five, but Casey's ready after about a minute and a half. Casey got tagged by a right hook while he was again swinging wildly. He's staggered, and Natal takes him down. Full guard. This is allowing Casey to get his wits back. Casey slithers back to the cage and he's going to try to walk back up. Natal softens him up with a couple strikes and Natal gets to half guard. Casey gets to his feet, and presses Natal into the fence. Nice knee from Natal. Natal uses an underhook to spin Casey onto the fence. Natal lands a couple punches before disengaging. Body kick from Natal. And another. Natal ducks under yet another looping hook and takes Casey down. Hammerfists from guard by Natal. I'm not sure Casey ever cleared the cobwebs. More hammerfists. Casey isn't doing anything from the bottom to scare Natal here. I'm really thinking I mis-scored round one, as that knockdown was clearly more punishing than it looked at the moment. Sapo continues to land from the top. 10-9 Natal Almost a 10-8
ROUND THREE: If Casey can't find a way to keep Natal off his back, he has no chance of winning this fight. And the judges may have given Natal the first round as well (like I wish I would have at the time). Casey isn't moving much. Just straight forward, heavy on his feet. Casey missed a huge uppercut. It was closer to hitting that guy in section 241 than Natal. Casey's getting tagged each time he throws wild like that. Casey stuffs a takedown, but fell backward and Natal landed on top anyhow. Natal passes easily to half-guard. Rickson > Renzo so far. Casey's not doing a damn thing off his back. He's being broken by the far more active Natal. Went for an arm-triangle. He lost it but got mount. Natal's pounding away, and the referee is about to stop this fight. Casey's broken, and the fight is over.
WINNER: Rafael Natal and his great body and his beautiful girlfriend by TKO (strikes) at 3:37 of round one.
STAR RATING: (**+) I liked that fight. Sue me. I would like to see the scorecards. Did Casey get awarded round one for being ahead of Natal for 4:59 of the round? Was round two a 10-8? OK, it wasn't a 10-8, as they're only awarded when points are deducted or when someone dies. But still. I liked the fight. Sue me.
-Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira (Lightweight)
ROUND ONE: For the sake of typos, OAM only gets one last name for this fight. Mercier lands a nice to the kick to the body. Got in and out before Ferreira could catch it and try to get him down. Mercier's cognizant of his need to stay outside and land kicks. He's throwing the left kick to the body a lot here, taking advantage of his southpaw stance. Ferreira tagged Mercier with a straight right as Mercier was reorienting after spinning through a kick. That was a nice punch from Ferreira. Mercier catches a body kick and chases in with a couple of punches. Ferreira gets untangled. More left body kicks from Mercier. Ferreira's looking for counter right hands off of that kick now. There's a short and straight counter left to the jaw from Ferreira. Mercier flat missed with that left kick and Ferreira gets inside. Nothing happens, and they separate. Ferreira initiates a clinch and lands a knee. Mercier lands one of his own. Ferreira breks, but lands a left to the temple. Nice kick from Mercier. Ferreira lands a kick in return. 10-9 Ferreira
ROUND TWO: Fast body kick from Ferreira. And another a few seconds later. Ferreira's far more active and has better boxing. Mercier's the better athlete, but his output has been a little low. Ferreira gets inside and initiates a clinch. Goes for a takedown but gets it reversed. Both fighters back up immediately, and back ot the middle of the cage. Mercier again takes him down, but Ferreira gets back up and gets away from Mercier. Nice kick to the body from Mercier. And a right hand. Mercier comes in behind a left uppercut, but Ferreira manhandles him in the clinch before throwing him aside. There's the left kick from Mercier again. Ferreira's arm is going to be all kinds up blue tomorrow. Mercier throws it again, but lands high. Nice clinch uppercut from Ferreira. More left body kicks. Mercier starting to get comfortable. Both fighters are opening up now. Sharp left hook from Mercier lands to the eat of Ferreira. Left low kick from Mercier. Really close round, but just barely, I'm going again with 10-9 Ferreira
ROUND THREE: Ferreira immediately goes high with a kick. Another left kick from Mercier, then to the head. Mercier stepped in and landed a tight left hook. That was interesting. And an uppercut. Left high kick from Mercier, and then he takes Ferreira down. He avoided playing in Ferreira's guard and let Ferreira up. Mercier with a lateral drop takedown, but Ferreira scrambles to top position. And that's why you don't always go for takedowns. Half-guard. Back mount. Mercier's screwed. He got a second takedown on a superior grappler, and now he has to defend the choke for thre eminutes. Neck crank. Ferreira let it go, and MErcier got his back free. Half-guard. Elbows from Ferreira. He's on the back yet again. 90 seconds remain. Ferreira's ragdolling MErcier. The question is if Mercier can keep his chin tucked for another minute-plus. Ferreira's got a figure four and is trying to open up Mercier's neck with short punches to the ear. At this point, getting to a decision will be a nice consolation prize for Mercier. Thus endeth the winning streak.
WINNER: Carlos Diego Ferreira by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (**) This was a chess match. Mercier has one big weapon with that left body kick. He got overconfident with the takedowns in the third round, and once he landed on his back after a successful takedown, he lost any chance to win. The fight was fine, but both of these guys have a long way to go.
-Tarec Saffiedine vs. Jake Ellenberger (Welterweight)
ROUND ONE: We're a couple of eye pokes or kicks to the groin away from running long on FS1, but at least we managed to preview the main card a zillion times. Saffiedine goes high with a really sharp kick. And aohter, this one under the armpit. Saffiedine ducks under a kick and initiates a clinch. Ellenberger eats a knee and puts Saffiedine along the fence. Saffeidine reverses position, and Ellenberger disengages. Another left kick from Saffiedone. Ellenberger hasn't done much so far, short of some dirty boxing in that clinch. He's eating a lot of kicks to the upper body. Tripled up jab from Saffiedine. Another fast kick, and there's a right kick low. Just to give Ellenberger something else to think about. Saffiedine back up high with the left kick. Ellenberger lands a big right to the face and Saffiedine is dazed. Ellenberger charges in and takes a knee in the clinch. I think he's got his wits back, but it's hard to know. Ellenberger far more active now. Saffiedine's far more passive now. Hasn't thrown a kick since he get tagged. OK, there's one. He's fine now. Ellenberger has slowed his pace as well. Nice jab from Saffiedine, this time from rightie. 10-9 Saffiedine Ellenberger let him off the hook like he was Dennis Green.
ROUND TWO: Saffiedine outstruck Ellenberger 3 to 1, and at double the accuracy. Saffiedine lands a short right hand that Ellenberger didn't like at all. Saffiedine is changing stances more often than Hillary Clinton at a press conference. Not nearly as much action from Saffiedine in this round. He felt Ellenberger's power and is being more cautious. Saffiedinegoes high with a right high kick. Ellenberger's having a hard time with Saffiedine's movement. Ellenberger got stuffed easily on a takedown attempt. The ref steps in and pauses the fight due to a low blow from Saffiedine. It was a shot knee in the clinch from Saffiedine. Lunging jab from Saffiedine right to the kisser. Left high kick from Saffiedine. Ellenberger better be careful, lest he want to use his right arm tomorrow. Ellenberger's nose is red. Takedown from Ellenberger, but Saffiedine's right back up. 10-9 Saffiedine Ellenberger just isn't doing anything. If he doesn't turn it around, he won't have to worry about those ugly Reebok fight kits.
ROUND THREE: The head kick should be there if Saffiedine wants it. Likewise, the takedowns should be there for Ellenberger if he wants it. Ellenberger pushes Saffiedine against the cage. Nothing comes of it. Two hard right leg kicks from Saffiedine in the orthodox stance, then he switches to southpaw. I'm not saying Saffiedine is unbeatable or anything, but he must be super hard to train for. Ellenberger has no idea what to do here, so apparently he's chosen Get Kicked In The Right Arm Over And Over Again as his choice du jour. Just impossible to keep up with the different kicks Saffiedine is throwing now. High and low, both legs, both stances. Ellenberger shoots from a mile away and gets put along the fence after eating a knee to the gut. I suppose it's better than getting your arm Cung Le'd. Ellenberger drops to his knee chasing a single, but Saffiedine gracefully gets his back and is looking to get his hooks in. He's got the choke positioned, but is just using it to keep Ellenberger passive. Mind you, Ellenberger's doing a good enough job of being passive; he doesn't need Saffiedine's help in that endeavor. 10-9 Saffiedine No, really.
WINNER: Tarec Saffiedine by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: I don't know about 29-28. I must've missed something. Ellenberger looked wholly noncompetitive.
=====Fox Main Card=====
FIGHT ONE: SAGE NORTHCUTT VS. BRYAN BARBERENA (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: It's Tim Tebow vs. Bam Bam. You can guess who I would be rooting for if I didn't have #JournalisticIntegrity dripping out of my pores. Northcutt comes in behind a nice three punch combo, but Barberena stuffs the takedown and is grinding Northcutt into the fence. They separate and let's get back to the middle. Northcutt throws a side kick over Barberena's head. That was really fast. Barberena puts Northcutt back on the cage. Northcutt gets off the cage and dumps Barberena to the mat. Barberena gets back up, but Northcutt is on his back. Northcutt gets his feet to the ground, and is throwing knees to the thighs of Barberena. Nice left hands from both fighters as they disengage. Sage smiles, and I melt. Northcutt unloads with three straight rights and gets Barberena down after a brief clinch on the cage. Barrberena back up, with Northcutt on him. Knee from Northcutt as they break. Barberena's face is completely red. Barberena gets a clinch and takes Northcutt down near the fence. Northcutt kicks him off and we're back to the middle. both fighters winging bombs as the round ends. 10-9 Northcutt
ROUND TWO: Barberena was cut open in the first round by an accidental headbutt. Northcutt trips going for a punch and Capoeira kicks Barberena in the head. Not quite Anthony Pettis smooth, as Barberena got top position from it. Then again, so did Henderson on Pettis, and how'd that turn out? Barberena is being very active from the guard. Postures up and drops hammerifsts. Back into guard. Elbows from Barberena. Northcutt's being tested for the first time in his UFC run. Half-guard. Nice rights from Barberena's to Northcutt's face. Hard elbows. There's blood on the canvas. Short knee to the ribcage from Barberena. Northcutt's doing a good job of keeping Barberena from posturing up, but he's getting battered here. Barberena's looking for an arm triangle and HE GOT IT! Arm triangle from half-guard? Wow.
WINNER: Bryan Barberena by submission (arm triangle choke)
STAR RATING: (***-) First, Northcutt is going to be one hell of a fighter when he's 25, unless the UFC ruins him with their David Clyde treatment (Google it). He's athletic, well-trained, has tremendous poise and charisma, etc. But he's 19. That arm triangle was not something that you're supposed to tap to (dangling participle, I know). It was from half-guard, and on the wrong side. I'm convinced Northcutt tapped to the three minutes of battering before the submission. But that's ok. Northcutt should be allowed to take the Cyborg deal. She is signed by Zuffa, but allowed to fight for Invicta. Northcutt should be allowed to fight for smaller promotions while remaining under a Zuffa development deal. If he's groomed outside of the UFC-spotlight, he could eventually be Rory MacDonald. Oh, and Bryan Barberena was there too.
FIGHT TWO: IURI ALCANTARA VS. JIMMIE RIVERA (BANTAMWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Step knee from Alcantara finds a home early. Rivera spins and gets tagged like 13 times. Nothing hard, though. Rivera eats a knee to the body from the lankier Alcantara. Rivera lands a kick to the body, but Alcantara caught it on the way back. Nice right from Rivera. Lots of feinting, circling, and resetting. But the engagements have been high speed. Straight kick up the middle from Alcantara. Rivera is head-hunting, but he can't find his target. Rivera has certainly been able to maintain the middle of the cage. Alcantara with a right to the body followed by a kick. Rivera took a poke to the eye, but the fight was stopped for less than 10 seconds. Nice flurry from both fighters until Rivera plants Alcantara with a takedown at the end of the round. Still though, 10-9 Alcantara, barely
ROUND TWO: Rivera backs Alcantara into the cage and then unloads with a left to the forehead of Alcantara. That was a big punch. Alcantara gets out of further trouble. Straight right from Rivera. Then a hard left kick. Everything he throws is designed to maim and mutilate. Rivera comes in behind the kick and clinches Alcantara up along the cage. Short left hands from Rivera, followed by a knee to the leg of Alcantara. The action has stalled out a little and the referee breaks them apart. Nice right from Rivera. Alcantra with a body kick. Rivera tries to take him down off the kick but can't do it. Back to the middle. Straight left from Alcantara drops Rivera, but he pops back up. Rivera continues forward and backs Alcantara into the fence. Rivera takes him down. Alcantara tries to get to his feet, but Rivera swivels onto Alcantara's back. 10-9 Rivera Much more definitive round than the first.
ROUND THREE: I probably scored round one poorly, but oh well. Head kick from Alcantara early. Nice punch to the body from Rivera. He's certainly controlling how and where this fight takes place. Nice body kick from Alcantara. Alcantara gets decked after Rivera catches a side kick. Rivera can't capitalize on the takedown, though, and Iuri is back up. Alcantara just can't find his range any more. Rivera ducks under a high kick that had fight-finishing intent. Couple of right hands from Rivera. Alcantara's missing on a lot of left hooks. nice kick to the body from Alcantara. Nice exchange with both fighters throwing left hooks. Best punch was a Rivera left cross. One minute remains. The pace hasn't slowed, but the activity level certainly has. Rivera got dropped from a straight left. Alcantara dove on him and looked for an arm, but Rivera got out of there in a hurry. Rivera grabs a single and is trying to get a takedown at the end of the round. It's not there so they throw bombs as the horn blows. 10-9 Rivera. 29-28 Rivera
WINNER: Jimmy Rivera by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (**) The fight didn't do it for me, but it was fine. Rivera flustered Alcantara with his forward movement, pace, and takedowns.Moving on.
FIGHT THREE: JOSH BARNETT VS. BEN ROTHWELL (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Looking forward to this one! Rothwell starts out leaning and reaching awkwardly, as he is wont to do. Barnett lands a straight right to the chin. Rothwell didn't feel it. Leg kick from Rothwell almost spun Barnett half way around. Barnett switched stances after that leg kick. Jab from Barnett. Rothwell is bloody already. Bridge of his nose. Nice right to the ear from Rothwell. Another jab from Barnett to that nose. Rothwell eats a left to the cheek. Both fighters in south paw right now. Rothwell's switching frequently, but Barnett's stayed southpaw since that huge leg kick. Rothwell gets in the clinch, but doesn't do anything with it. Back to the middle. Jab to the body by Barnett. Nice left from Barnett lands as well. Nice jab from Barnett, he immediately gets out of there. Big combination from Rothwell. Nice elbow by Barnett. Rothwell is eating a to of jabs. And a straight left to boot. Rothwell's just so damn awkward. Both have landed about the same amount, but 10-9 Barnett
ROUND TWO: Everything Barnett has landed so far has been straight. Rothwell seems to be expecting looping hooks for some reason. Front kick up the middle from Barnett. Nice three punch combo from Rothwell, but I don't think any of it hurt Barnett at all. Jabs from Rothwell, followed by a straight right. Barnett raced into it and got a clinch. Rothwell's back against the cage. Short uppercuts from Rothwell and Barnett backs off. Advantage Rothwell, there. Barnett eats a leg kick. Barnett's back to orthodox, by the way. Nice uppercut from Big Ben. Right hook for Rothwell. Barnett with a jab and leg kick. Barnett's ear is bloody. Both guys are throwing heavy leather right up the middle, but the crowd isn't digging it. That's ok, I'm digging it. roghwell is trying to hand-fight, but Barnett's not letting himself get handcuffed. Nice kick from Ben. He's just walking through everything like King Kong. Barnett has a single leg on Rothwell, and Rothwell has Barnett's neck. Oh My God! SUBMISSION ROTHWELL! BARNETT TAPPED TO A GUILLOTINE OUT OF NOWHERE! The crowd is speechless, and I can't blame them.
WINNER: Ben Rothwell by submission at 3:48 of round two.
STAR RATING: (***+) That was ridiculous. That looked like an old catch-wrestling front choke, but it was also a neck twisting crank as well. Rothwell's chest was leveraging Barnett's head and he must have been in a ton of pain. Rothwell's awkward as all hell and he beat Josh Barnett with a front choke. That was Barnett's first submission loss in his career, not including when CroCop tapped him to strikes. I loved this fight so much. rothwell called it a gogo choke. I know I've never seen it before. Rothwell called out Stipe Miocic. And after Rothwell got screwed out of a shot Miocic got, who can blame him.
FIGHT FOUR: ANTHONY JOHNSON VS. RYAN BADER (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Bader shot 10 seconds in, got stuffed, and Rumble is on his back. Bader's holding on for a Kimura position from the bottom, but he doesn't have any leverage. As soon as he loses the arm, Johnson's going to be on him like crazy. Johnson's off Bader's back, but has full mount. Bader's doomed like Linus in the pumpkin patch. Bader turtled up, and is getting murdered. Bader's unconscious. I think his corner threw in a literal towel. I saw it. It was red.
WINNER: Anthony Johnson by KO at 1:26 of round one.
STAR RATING: (N/A) Anyone who thought Bader had even one chance in a million tonight is a fool. His winning streak was about as important and meaningful as Neil Magny's.
Well, there's another night of fights int eh cards. Three finishes and a really fun bantamweight fight makes for a memorable Fox card. Make sure to keep visiting MMA Torch through the week for more on the Fox card and next week's FS1 card, UFCNot196.
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