Well…this has been an interesting week in the UFC. With the recent injuries to the UFC 196 main eventers (Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez), the UFC was forced to put next week’s PPV on Big Fox (Fox Sports 1) for free, saving you the $55 PPV price. On behalf of Werdum’s injured back and foot: You’re Welcome. Hopefully Chael Sonnen did not copy write that phrase.
Anywho, that is next week. This week featured another free card on Big Fox Saturday night which was headlined by Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs Ryan “Darth” Vader…I mean Ryan Bader, with the winner to earn a title shot over Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier in the fall. In the co-main event, Josh Barnett and Ben Rothwell squared off in a match major title implications in the pathetic Heavyweight division. UFC Power Ranger, Sage Northcutt, was also hoping to make an impression. Needless to say, for a free event, there was some “Must-See TV, but thank god it’s free” potential.
Bryan Barberena (11-3) submits Sage Northcutt (7-1) via 2nd Arm Triangle Choke
Well, that was fun while it lasted. The UFC spent a lot of time trying to make us believe that Sage Northcutt was the next big thing. But he ran straight into a tough SOB in Bryan Barberena. Side note: Sage really makes a lot of fans want to punch him in the face. He is always so happy…makes me sick.
Anywho…the first round was won by Northcutt as he connected with a big punch that knocked down B.B. But as the fight went on, three big things stood out to me. First, Sage doesn’t really know how to control his aggression. When he saw an opening, and to his credit, he charged in like a bat straight out of hell, but he gassed quickly. The second thing I noticed is that Northcutt may not be used to getting hit in the face. That may sound funny, but in watching the facial expressions of Sage after he got hit, he almost looked panicked. Which brings me to the third point: it looked liked panicked in the uncomfortable situations in the fight. He really looked lost in basic Jiu-Jitsu situations. Then B.B. locked in an Arm-Triangle Choke from the wrong position (in half-guard…on the wrong side) and Sage tapped. It appeared that Sage was a little quick to tap out in what looked like a panic move. While this puts a 20ft tall brick wall in front of the “Sage Northcutt hype train”, the dude is only 19. He’ll be back.
This won’t help his bruised ego, though. You, sir, are mean.
*Cue mic drop*
Jimmie Rivera (18-1) def. Iuri Alcantara (32-6-1) via Unanimous decision.
This was a fun fight. Jimmie Rivera won his 18th straight with this very entertaining bout. The 1st round was closely contested but Rivera secured a takedown in the final seconds. The second round was at a quicker pace and was very similar to the first. Rivera did get knocked down in the 2nd and 3rd round but it didn’t really do much damage. With this win, Rivera firmly puts his name as a potential division dark horse.
Ben Rothwell (35-9) submits Josh Barnett (34-7) via 2nd round via Gogo Choke
The heavyweight division is starting to make a little more sense now as Josh Barnett is submitted for the first time in his 20-year career. The 1st round was a bit slow, but the pace picked up in the 2nd. The end came when Barnett went for a single-leg takedown, and Rothwell locked up his arms around Barnett’s neck, dropped his hips, and that’s all she wrote. Rothwell firmly puts his name in the “Contender” status.
Anthony Johnson (20-5)
murderers wrecks destroys defeats Ryan Bader (20-4) via 1st round TKO
Well…that was fast. Exactly 86 seconds. There is not much to say here. From the 1st second of the fight, it was pretty obvious that Ryan Bader wanted nothing to do with Anthony Johnson’s fists – and that is a GREAT idea – but do you know what happens when you shoot for a takedown but don’t set it up with some strikes?
You get waxed.
So as we stand, Anthony Johnson is the new #1 contender for the light heavyweight title. Oh boy.