UFC on Fox 18 will be the night when Ryan Bader (20-5) will look back at his performance and see how bad he played into the hands of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson(21-5). Not sure if he felt at a disadvantage in the striking department against him so he immediately went for a take down. Outside of Daniel Cormier not to many people can take this man down and Ryan found that out instantly. He also was shown how strong Anthony is when he tossed aside his kimura attempt and mounted him for the finish. After that it only took three punches for one of the hardest hitters in UFC history to lay him to waste. Disoriented and down Bader could only stand up and bow out as his game plan completely backfired on the true number contender (not named Jon Jones). Once again it seems as if Anthony will have to sit and wait while Jones and DC figure each other out for a chance again at the light heavyweight title. With each fight he puts on it’s truly on a matter of time.
Rothwell(36-9) is a giant of a man on a mission and tonight he may have taken one step closer to his goal. He faced the perennial heavyweight contender in Josh Barnett(34-8). As anticipated the two danced in the first round finding range and Rothwell found success with an inside leg kick that that caused Barnett to switch his stance. Ben himself in his unorthodoxed way switched stances over and over causing slight confusion but Josh stilled landed more shots in the first. In the second round the damage picked up and both fighters were cut and Ben continued to land the inside leg kick. A missed opportunity by Barnett found him on the ground where Rothwell set up a globo choke to perfection and caused the Warmaster to tap. It was quite surprising to see him tap as no one has made him do it in sometime. For Rothwell he once again backs up his talk as a legit contender in the heavyweight division.
The fight with Jimmie Rivera(19-1) and Iuri Alcantara(13-7) was all about pressure. The momentum of this fight favored Jimmie but staying in front of the season vet allowed for a few key shots. The first round was met with a feeling out process followed by Jimmie gaining a slight advantage with a nice takedown even though Iuri got to his feet quickly. It’s one of those fights where one would ask which is more important the takedowns or the significant strikes? Clearly it was the takedowns for the hometown favorite as he landed two more and kept the pace in his favor. Iuri dropped Jimmie in the second and third rounds cleanly but most of his offense was stifled due to the pressure. The judges saw the fight for Rivera which was the right call. If Iuri did a little bit more he may have been able to sway the judges his way but that would not be the case tonight.
The upstart and emerging fighter Sage Northcutt(7-1) tasted his first defeat in the hands of the gritty and well rounded Bryan Barberena(11-3). The first round belonged to the striking of Sage even though Bryan continued to move forward. Northcutt landed a few few straight jabs that cut Bryan above his left eye. In the clinch Sage almost took the back of Bryan who immediately put his butt against the cage to stave off the rear naked attempt. After the first round the momentum was in Sage’s favor but that would quickly change at the start of round two. After a missed kick from Sage, Bryan went to work with a takedown and landed some vicious elbows. That set him up to work for the arm triangle against the confused and gassed looking Northcutt. A few moments later there was a quick tap and the undefeated streak was no more. Sage is young and will bounce back but for now the light shines upon Ryan Barberena who took the fight on short notice and called his victory.
The prelims saw impressive wins Tarec Saffiedine(16-4) making his return, Rafael Natal (21-6) and Alexander Yakovlev (23-6). Up next for the UFC is UFC Fight Night Hendricks vs Thompson on Saturday February 6th. The full results from UFC on Fox 18 are found below.
Anthony Johnson def. Ryan Bader via first-round TKO (1:26)
Ben Rothwell def. Josh Barnett via submission (guillotine) (2nd, 3:48)
Jimmie Rivera def. Iuri Alcantara via unanimous decision
Bryan Barberena def. Sage Northcutt via submission
Tarec Saffiedine def. Jake Ellenberger via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Diego Ferreira def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier via UD (29-28 x2, 30-27)
Rafael Natal def. Kevin Casey via third-round TKO (3:37)
Wilson Reis def. Dustin Ortiz via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Alexander Yakovlev def. George Sullivan via first-round KO (3:59)
Alex Caceres def. Masio Fullen via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Randy Brown def. Matt Dwyer via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Levan Makashvili vs. Damon Jackson ends in majority draw (29-27 Jackson, 28-28 x2)
Tony Martin def. Felipe Olvieri via submission (rear-naked choke) (R3, 3:02)