Josh Barnett added yet another significant piece to his resume.
Barnett became the first man to submit Andrei Arlovski, as he tapped his fellow former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their UFC Fight Night 93 (online betting) UFC Fight Night “Arlovski vs. Barnett” co-main event on Saturday at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany. Arlovski (25-13, 14-7 UFC) conceded defeat 2:53 into round three.
Both fighters found themselves dazed by power punches inside the first 20 seconds, with Arlovski emerging from the exchange bleeding from a cut near his hairline. The Belarusian later surprised Barnett with a trip takedown but failed to fully capitalize. The tide turned in round two, where Arlovski wandered into the clinch and wound up underneath “The Warmaster.” Barnett mounted, let loose with elbow-laden ground-and-pound and nearly finished it. Only the clock saved Arlovski, who had little left in the tank at the start of the third round.
Barnett (35-8, 7-3 UFC) weathered an inadvertent thumb to the eye that went unnoticed by referee Leon Roberts, drew “The Pit Bull” in close and rolled into mount after threatening with a standing kimura. Arlovski ate a few punches before yielding his back and submitting to the choke.
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Gustafsson Mauls Overmatched Blachowicz
Allstars Training Center cornerstone Alexander Gustafsson snapped a two-fight losing streak with a lopsided unanimous decision over former KSW champion Jan Blachowicz in the light heavyweight co-main event. All three judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Gustafsson (17-4, 9-4 UFC).
Blachowicz (19-6, 2-3 UFC) held his own in the standup but could not stay upright long enough to make serious headway in what was always viewed as an uphill climb. Gustafsson took down the 33-year-old in all three rounds and shredded him with elbows, short punches and forearm strikes from inside guard. “The Mauler” spent more than four and a half minutes in top position in the second round, where he opened a cut on Blachowicz’s forehead with a jagged elbow strike. Not much changed in the third, as Gustafsson secured two more takedowns and salted away his first win in more than two years.
Bader Knee KOs Latifi
“The Ultimate Fighter 8” winner Ryan Bader knocked out Ilir Latifi with a second-round knee strike in a featured attraction at 205 pounds. An unconscious Latifi (12-5, 5-3 UFC) hit the deck 2:06 into round two, his three-fight winning streak at an end.
Bader (21-5, 14-5 UFC) withstood a knockdown in the first round, bottled up the Swede with kicks to the body and waited for an opening. He caught Latifi ducking in the second, sent his knee crashing into the American Top Team rep’s face and walked off with his hands raised.
German Judoka Hein Outpoints Bang
Nick Hein won for the eighth time in nine outings, as he earned a unanimous verdict against former Deep champion Tae Hyun Bang in their largely uneventful three-round lightweight showcase. All three cageside judges sided with Hein (14-2, 4-1 UFC): 29-28, 30-28 and 30-27.
Neither man seemed overly willing to engage, which led to periods of inaction on the feet and an increasingly restless crowd. Hein delivered takedowns in each of the first two rounds and kept Bang (18-10, 2-3 UFC) honest with a stinging straight left hand. A clash of heads resulted in a gnarly cut on the Korean Top Team’s eyelid in the third round, and Hein later buckled his knees with a slashing left cross.
Bang, 33, has lost three of his last five fights.
Ayari Spoils Wallhead Debut
Hammers Team rep Jessin Ayari recorded his seventh consecutive victory, as he pocketed a split decision over “Judo” Jim Wallhead in a three-round undercard tilt at 170 pounds. Judges Takeo Kobayashi and Paul Sutherland scored it 29-28 and 30-27 for Ayari, while judge Ben Cartlidge saw it 29-28 for Wallhead.
Ayari (16-3, 1-0 UFC) spent almost the entire fight moving backward and feeding the London Shootfighters veteran punches. His right uppercut was particularly effective against Wallhead (29-10, 0-1 UFC), a short-notice fill-in for Emil Weber Meek. Even so, Ayari had to navigate some precarious moments. Perhaps sensing the need for a finish, Wallhead sat down the German with a left hook in the third round and later staggered him with an overhand right. Time, however, was not on his side, and the final seconds ticked off with Ayari still in the lead.
The loss snapped Wallhead’s four-fight winning streak.
Surging Sobotta Dominates Dalby
Planet Eater standout Peter Sobotta showcased his superiority on the ground and his continued improvement on the feet in claiming a unanimous verdict against former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder Nicolas Dalby in their preliminary welterweight pairing. Sobotta (16-5-1, 3-4 UFC) was awarded 30-26 scores across the board.
Dalby (14-2-1, 1-2-1 UFC) had difficulty in all phases. Sobotta floored him with a right uppercut and pounced with hammerfists for a potential finish in the first-round, raising a cut-it-Mick hematoma beneath the Dane’s left eye. Dalby survived the onslaught, only to have his back taken by the Dean Lister-trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Sobotta picked up where he left off in round two, where he secured multiple takedowns and climbed to full mount. Down two rounds on the scorecards, Dalby tried to hit the gas in the third round but conceded another takedown with roughly two minutes left on the clock and watched his hopes fade.
Sobotta, 29, has won eight of his past nine bouts.
Evans-Smith Elbows Finish Macedo
Former Championship Fighting Alliance titleholder Ashlee Evans-Smith put away Veronica Macedo with third-round elbows in an undercard clash at 135 pounds. A replacement for the injured Germaine de Randamie, the undersized 5-foot-3 Macedo (5-1, 0-1 UFC) succumbed to blows 2:46 into round three.
Evans-Smith (5-1, 2-1 UFC) maximized her size, strength and experience advantages. Macedo got her attention with a few spinning attacks to the body but could not keep the American wrestler at bay. Evans-Smith advanced to full mount in the first round, executed an exquisite head-and-arm throw in the second and drew the curtain on the taekwondo black belt in the third. There, she shut down an ill-conceived kneebar attempt from Macedo, climbed to a dominant position and dropped elbows until referee Neil Hall had seen enough.
Lapilus Breezes Past Issa
French prospect Taylor Lapilus won for the sixth time in seven appearances, as he cruised to a unanimous decision over Evolve MMA export Leandro Issa in a preliminary bantamweight confrontation. All three cageside judges sided with Lapilus (11-2, 3-1 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Issa (13-6, 2-3 UFC) secured a pair of first-round takedowns, but when the former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion failed to consolidate them with damage or positional control, the writing was on the wall. Lapilus escaped to his feet and chased down the retreating Brazilian with punches in what became an increasingly one-sided matchup. All other Issa takedown attempts were met with sprawls and airtight defense.
The 32-year-old Issa has suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time as a pro.
Danho, Colombo Battle to Draw
Hammers Team representative Jarjis Danjo and Danish newcomer Christian Colombo fought to a majority draw in a sloppy and forgettable heavyweight scrap on the undercard. Judges Taeko Kobayashi and Clemens Werner struck 28-28 scorecards, while judge Andy Roberts saw it 29-27 for Colombo.
A first-round foul saved Danjo (6-1-1, 0-1-1 UFC) from another loss, as Colombo connected with a knee to the top of the head while the Germany-based Syrian’s fingertips were still on the mat. The blow resulted in a cut and led to a point deduction from referee Marc Goddard. The two heavyweights traded heavy, fatigue-laden shots over the second and third rounds, Danjo leaning almost exclusively on his hands and Colombo (8-1-1, 0-0-1 UFC) answering with a series of knees in the clinch. Technique and conditioning were lacking on both sides.
Hermansson Wins Ninth Straight
Former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder Jack Hermansson made a successful Octagon debut, as he captured a unanimous verdict over Scott Askham in their preliminary middleweight encounter. Hermansson (14-2, 1-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 marks from the judges.
Askham (14-3, 2-3 UFC) failed to match the Swede’s aggression. Hermansson seized control after a closely contested first round, smothering the onetime British Association of Mixed Martial Arts champion with a punishing clinch. Close-quarters uppercuts routinely snapped back Askham’s head, and Hermansson paired those shoveling punches with slashing right hands to keep the Englishman on the defensive.
The 28-year-old Hermansson has won nine consecutive bouts.
Khabilov Outworks Replacement Silva
Persistent clinches and a few well-timed takedowns carried former combat sambo world champion Rustam Khabilov to a unanimous decision over Leandro Silva in a three-round undercard battle at 155 pounds. All three cageside judges sided with Khabilov (20-3, 6-2 UFC): 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
A short-notice fill-in for Reza Madadi, American Top Team’s Silva (19-5-1, 3-4 UFC) staggered the Dagestani grappler with a left hook in the first round and later achieved full mount. However, momentum proved fleeting. Khabilov executed takedowns in rounds two and three, applied his ground-and-pound and effectively neutralized the Brazilian’s advantages on the feet.
Khabilov, 29, has rattled off three straight wins.