Josh Barnett emerged victorious in a grittle battle with Andrei Arlovski tonight at UFC fight Night 93, with both men being rocked early in the opening round, before ‘The Warmaster’ gradually began to gain the upperhand with clinch work and wrestling, leading to a rear-naked choke finish in the third round.
The main event of the evening is underway in Hamburg, Germany!
Arlovski rocked by a punch in the first exchange, then he fires back and wobbles Barnett! More punches from Arlovski and then Barnett again clips Arlovski. Crazy action to start the fight, with both fighters legs buckling in that short spell!
Arlovski in the clinch now. Both men looking to regain their bearings. Barnett reverses the position, but soon Arlovski does the same and then backs away.
Back to striking range and Arlovski sporting a cut high on his forehead. Barnett clinches and pushes Arlovski up against the cage.
Bit of a stall in the action and then Arlovski lands a nice trip takedown. Not too often we see Barnett being taken down. Arlovski opts to stand over Barnett as blodd trickles down his forehead. He’s not doing much here and the ref is warning him to do something.
They reset and Arlovski just misses with a hard punch. Repeated right hands from Arlovski start to get through and Barnett wilts a little, but then regroups and smiles at his opponent.
Barnett back into the clinch against the cage now. The big shots landed in this opening round have taken their toll on both men and Barnett just opts to stall from this position until the bell.
Overhand right for Barnett to start and then goes right into the clinch. Arlovski reverses the position, but then Barnett gains control again and drives his opponent hard into the cage.
Knee strikes to the inner thigh of Arlovski. Arlovski trying to spin out and the two men jockey for position against the cage. Arlovski does gain the advantageous position and now it’s his turn to land a few knees before the ref separates them.
Straight into the clinch in the center of the cage is Barnett. They break apart and then come back in with both men landing short strikes inside.
More clinch work from Barnett now against the cage. Arlovski lands an uppercut as he gets away. They are only a striking range for a brief moment before Barnett clinches again.
This is potentially a five round fight, so Barnett is definitely pacing himself and slowly wear Arlovski down.
Arlovski goes for that trip takedown again and he lands it, but this time Barnett is wise to it and immediately reverses, then nicely moves into full mount.
Barnett really locks down this mount position with a little over a minute to go. He starts to land a few elbow strikes to the head. Now he postures up and starts blasting away with punches with half a minute to go.
Arlovski turns his back and Barnett lands a few more punches. He thinks about a rear-naked choke, but then realizes there’s not enough time left and goes back to ground and pound until the round ends.
Arlovski very slow to get back to his feet after that. Big round for Barnett.
Both men exchange in the center of the Octagon. nice jab from Barnett. Good right hook from arlovski. Jab again from Barnett.
Leg kick for Arlovski, right hook for Barnett. Overhand just misses from Barnett. Right hook and an uppercut for Arlovski. Into the clinch now and Barnett lands a good uppercut.
Arlovski lets his hands go and Barnett turns his back. He was hurt by something – it looked like an eye poke and Arlovski begins to unload with more strikes, landing a big uppercut. Barnett realizes he has to fight on and gets back to the action.
Barnett uses a kimura to take Arlovski down close to the cage. He’s able to move to mount position again and is quickly back to landing ground and pound strikes, which forces Arlovski to give up his back.
This time Barnett has lots of time to work from this position and he sinks in the rear-naked choke, producing a swift tap at 2.53mins of the the third round.
That was a gruelling fight for both men and Barnett did well to dig deep and come out on top, especially after being hurt by an eyepoke not long before finding the finish in the third round.