On a night where we’d seen eight decisions in ten bouts, an eventful headliner was needed. We were not disappointed in that regard, as two men who have suffered recent setbacks threw caution to the wind in a wild three-round encounter. Josh Barnett was coming into this bout off the back of a defeat to Ben Rothwell and Andrei Arlovski was entering the octagon following back-to-back defeats to the two men who will challenge for the UFC heavyweight title next week; Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem.
Incredibly, both of these men made their UFC debuts in November 2000 at UFC 28. Nearly 16 years later the two would meet for the first time in a fight that may not have had huge immediate divisional ramifications, but one which would see two former UFC champions, and two of the most successful heavyweights of all time in MMA square off. This fight didn’t need title implications, these two behemoths colliding sufficed on its own merits.
It didn’t take us long to get going. With less than thirty seconds on the clock in the first round, a wild six-second exchange saw Arlovski dropped twice and Barnett dropped once- as both men landed powerful right hooks in an exchange reminiscent of Arlovski’s bout with Travis Browne in May 2015. The remainder of the first round was largely spent grappling against the cage as both men seemed content to recover from that eventful opening spell.
— UFC (@ufc) September 3, 2016
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The second round started off similarly to how the first finished, with a lot of grappling against the cage, until Barnett reversed a takedown attempt from Arlovski and progressed immediately to mount. ‘The Warmaster’ started to drop heavy punches, forcing Arlovski to desperately search for safety, going back and forth between being mounted and giving up his back, all whilst covering up and trying to survive until the end of the round. It looked for a moment that referee Leon Roberts would intervene, though Arlovski did manage to make it to the buzzer.
The third-round started off with more wild striking exchanges, both men landing hooks and uppercuts that seemed to hurt their opponents. At one point Barnett turned his back to the action and held his eye, seemingly protesting an eye-poke, expecting a break in the action, though the referee did not separate the fighters. For a moment it looked as if Barnett’s reaction to the eye-poke was going to cost him the bout as Arlovski swarmed, but the forty three-fight veteran Barnett quickly regrouped and took Arlovski down with an incredible a double-wristlock turnover, sweeping Arlovski to secure top position.
Once Barnett was on top, it was the beginning of the end for Arlovski. Barnett progressed to full-mount when a call from his corner came; “If you go to work he’s gonna give up! If you go to work he’s gonna give up!” This seemed to trigger the desired reaction from their fighter, as Barnett started immediately throwing punches that forced Arlovski to give up his back, at which point the decorated submission grappler Barnett quickly slipped in a tight rear-naked choke to secure the submission victory.
Barnett showed great respect to Arlovski after the bout, calling him over to share the spotlight during his post-fight octagon interview with Dan Hardy, “Andrei and I came here to give you guys a great fight, we did our absolute best, we tried to take each other out. We went for the finish every time- I know we slowed down but, even though he’s got abs he’s a heavyweight too so please give it up for Andrei Arlovski.
“I was forcing the punches just a little bit too much but hey man, give me an opportunity, give me a limb , I’ll take it home,” he added.
What’s next for both men? It’s hard to say- Barnett didn’t seem in an immediate rush to call out anyone at the top of the division, and Arlovski has now been stopped in three consecutive defeats. We may have seen this one a few years too late, but it’s one I’m glad we saw before these two legends call it a day.
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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