UFC fans living stateside were treated to a rare Saturday afternoon fight card this weekend, as the biggest promotion in mixed martial arts hosted Fight Night 93 at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
Headlined by a heavyweight bout between MMA veterans Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett and Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski, Fight Night 93’s main card aired at 3pm/ET on Fight Pass to accommodate the six-hour time difference.
For Barnett, who’s professional fighting career spans nearly two decades, the fight was an opportunity to get back on track after a disappointing submission loss to Ben Rothwell at UFC on FOX 18 earlier this year. “The Warmaster” initially went 4-1 in his first UFC run from 2000-2002 which included a TKO win over Randy Couture to claim the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 36.
However, he has had mixed results since rejoining the promotion in 2013, alternating wins and losses over the course of his past four fights, including the Rothwell loss.
Arlovski, on the other hand, entered the fight in much bigger need of a win.
The former UFC Heavyweight Champion returned to the promotion in mid-2014 after a six year absence, making a big statement by stringing together four straight wins, including back-to-back T/KO wins over Travis Browne and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
Unfortunately for Arlovski, 2016 has not been so kind. Just two days into the new year, he was TKO’d by current heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic at just 0:54 seconds into round 1. In his rebound fight, Arlovski drew Dutch striking specialist Alistair Overeem, who sent “The Pitbull” to the pound with a brutal front kick at Fight Night 87.
While Barnett’s striking is not on the same level as Miocic or Overeem, his grappling game is world class, something Arlovski would have to keep in mind if he planned to prove that his recent career resurgence is still alive and well.
(**Sidenote: Be sure to check out UFC 203 next weekend, where Miocic and Overeem will throw down for the UFC heavyweight title.**)
In the co-main event of the night, Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson faced-off against Poland’s Jan Blachowicz in a light-heavyweight scrap. “The Mauler” hadn’t fought since a decision loss to Daniel Cormier in what was one of the most entertaining fights of 2015.
Blachowicz entered FN 93 on the heels of a three-round decision win over Igor Pokrajac this past April. The Polish import had gone 2-2 in UFC action prior to his fight with Gustafsson.
Stay tuned to PBI for full coverage of Fight Night 93!
Main Card Results
Nick Hein vs. Tae Hyun Bang
Hein takes centre early. Both fighters feinting, some reaching, but few shots. Hein opens with a left that misses Bang. Bang lands an outside leg kick on Hein’s lead. Bang with a high kick out of range. Hein responds with his own high kick, missing as well. Hein steps in and lands a left hook. Bang steps in with a flurry, lands a hook, Hein circles out. Hein misses with a front kick, steps in with a right as Bang also steps in, may have been a clash of heads but they keep fighting. Hein clinches the body lock and gets the takedown. Bang on bottom with half guard. Hein putting a lot of pressure on Bang, lands a nice left. Bang scrambles, they both get back to their feet with just under 2 minutes left in the round. They both step in and wing big hooks, but miss. Hein lands and bobs out of the way of a punch from the Korean. They trade kicks as the round ends, but neither lands.
Hein out taking centre, pressuring Bang early. They’re swinging wild now, both landing, Bang stumbles Hein. Hein follows with a bodylock, pressures Bang on the cage. Hein lands a knee on the inside. They fight for underhooks, Hein lands another knee. They push off and separate. Hein throws a left to the body and an overhand right to the head. Bang pumps the jab, then throws a right high kick, but Hein is out of range. Hein bouncing in the centre, closes the distance with a 1-2, mostly glancing on Bang’s chin. Bang trying to counter but not quite landing. Another kick out of range as Bang pushes forward, but Hein circles away from the cage. A short punch momentarily staggers Hein, but he’s okay. Hein ducks a punch and follows with a nice bodylock to trip takedown. Bang is back on his feet, but on the cage. Bang does a judo throw that sends Hein to the ground, but they both get to their feet and separate. Bang lunges in with a 1-2, doesn’t land.
Hein moving in and out with shots early as Bang trying to counter. Bang lands a kick to the body, Hein responds with a counter punch. Bang backing Hein up, Hein throws a punch and Bang counters with a nice left hook. There’s a clash of heads that busts Bang open above the right eye. The ref steps in to stop the action. The doctor checks the cut, and let’s action resume. Hein pumping a jab and Bang throws a hard elbow that misses. Bang misses a hard overhand, then lands a jab. Hein lands a punch that staggers Bang, and Bang responds with a nice kick to the body. Hein ducks in for a bodylock again, but Bang shakes him off. They throw and clash heads again, but they keep fighting. Bang lands a right that catches Hein’s attention and continues to stalk forward. The Korean is throwing bigger punches, trying to end the fight, although many shots finding empty space. They each throw and land in the final seconds.
Official Results: Nick Hein def. Tae Hyun Bang via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-28, 30-27)
Ryan Bader vs. Ilir Latifi
Bader takes centre early, Latifi circling and bouncing on the outside Latifi tries for bodylock, Bader shrugs it off. Latifi throws a kick but it takes him off balance. Bader lands a nice jab. Latifi pushes forward to the centre, tries to tie Bader up but Darth shrugs it off again. Bader lands a body kick as Latifi changes levels. They circle and Bader lands another right body kick. Now Bader circling on the outside, lands another kick as Latifi tries to grab the leg for a takedown. Latifi continues to try to tie up, but Bader seems content to trade on the feet. Latifi leaps in with an overhand, Bader shuffles out of the way. Latifi again dives forward with two strikes, both miss. Bader circles away from Latifi, who again throws big leather that lands on Bader’s wrist and hand. Latifi crowds Bader and lands a right that stumbles him, then goes for the takedown, but Bader moves away and appears to have recovered.
Bader moves in a puts Latifi on the outside, but Latifi surges ahead, throwing big shots. Bader is just out of reach. Bader moves in with a quick, crisp jab that lands. Bader shoots in, Latifi defends, and as they stand up Latifi uses bull strength to get Bader on the cage. They break, and Bader again takes centre. Bader throws a big right but Latifi ducks it. Bader lands another right and they clinch. They break and Bader lands and elbow. Latifi dives in for a takedown and Bader times a perfect knee that drops Latifi to his back. Bader throws his hands up and walks off as Latifi is clearly unconscious before he hit the mat.
Official Results: Ryan Bader def. Ilir Latifi via Knockout (knee). R2, 2:06
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jan Blachowicz
Gus comes out establishing the jab, with Jan countering. They’re trading in the centre, both landing, although Jan seems to be cleaner and harder shots. Gus’ face is already red from a few stinging shots and some blood under his right eye. Gus shoots for the takedown, Jan defends. Gus lands a jab and follow up right, but Jan lands hard inside on the body. Gus with another takedown attempt, has Jan on the cage, but defending well. Gus lands a knee inside. Jan pushes off and ladns a left as they separate. They exchange jabs, Jan throws a one-two and ends it with a kick. They clinch and Jan lands a knee and an uppercut. They exchange jabs again, then Jan lands another nice one-two, swarms in and lands to the body. Gus clinches, gets Jan to the ground, but Jan gets full guard. Gus rotates to turn Jan off of the cage. Jan isolating Gus arm for an armbar, Gus makes him pay by landing a big elbow, then a second with the same arm. Gus lands a couple of shots and maintains pressure as the round ends.
Jan pumping his jab early, lands a glancing overhand right. Gus closes distance and gets a beautiful double leg on Jan, who finds full guard. Gus posturing up to land elbows and Jan turns for the armbar again. Gus lands a thudding right elbow. Jan throwing punches from the bottom as well, but Gus is using smothering pressure. Both guys bloody now, Jan being busted up by an elbow. Gus gets side control but Jan quickly re-establishes full guard. Gus goes to the body with a left then the head with another elbow on the same side. Gus again postures and lands a bigger punch. Jan tries to wrap his left arm around Gus’ head, but The Mauler breaks free. Jan isolates Gus’ right arm and swings his legs up for another submission attempt, but Gus telegraphs it and lands a couple of shots before Jan moves back to full guard. Gus begins to cover Jan’s mouth and nose, disrupting his breathing. Gus stands up when Jan opens his guard. Jan goes for an upkick, but misses. Gus tries to dive into side control but Jan regains guard before the round ends.
They come out swinging in the final round. Another bodylock attempt, but they separate. Gus throws a big right, Jan is unfazed. Gus lands an uppercut, but Jan lands a punch and a kick to reply. Jan overcommits and Gus uses the moment to get another takedown, landing in Jan’s guard. Gus smothering Jan, alternating shots to the body and head. Gus postures up for a hammer fist and Jan throws a punch from below. Gus continues punishing Jan’s body and just misses on a slicing elbow across the forehead. Ref keeps calling for work, but Gus is already consistently landing and maintaining pressure. Gus tries to step over to side control, doesn’t make it, and the ref stands them up with a minute and a half left. They stand and Gus immediately taps Jan for a single leg takedown. Back in Jan’s guard, Gus is posturing up to throw hammerfists and elbows. Jan is defending himself, trying to break Gus’ posture, but with 30 seconds left he looks completely defeated. Gus continues to land as the horn sounds.
Official Results: Alexander Gustafsson def. Jan Blachowicz via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett
Barnett opens fenting the level change. Arlovski staggers Barnett. Barnett clips Arlovski, who’s legs buckle for a second, but he pops back up with a flurry that staggers The Warmaster. Barnett gets the body lock and pushes Arlovski on the fence. They’re fighting for underhooks and wrist control. Arlovski is bloodied on the forehead. He spins out and they separate. They exhange in the centre and are warned by the ref about head clashes. Barnett drives into Arlovski and gets him on the cage. Barnett controls Arlovski’s left arm and lands a couple of shots. Arlovski gets the body lock and trips Barnett, landing in half guard. Arlovski stands up, controlling Barnett’s feet. Barnett is throwing heels on his thighs and a few upkicks. Arlovski not offering much offense and the ref separates them for the stand up. Arlovski with an overhand and Barnett with a knee. Arlovski swarms him but Barnett covers up and smiles. Barnett with another single leg attempt, gets Arlovski on the cage, lands a foot stomp as they fight for wrist control. Round ends with Barnett pressuring Arlovski on the cage.
Barnett immediately moves for the takedown, Arlovski circles but Barnett keeps his hands on him and gets his back on the cage. Barnett is landing knees on the inside of Arlovski’s thigh. Arlovski circles off, Barnett lands a knee, and Arlovski gets control on the outside. Ref again warns them about inactivity and separates them. They each throw a punch and wind up in a clinch, landing short shots. They separate for a moment, but clinch up on the next exchange, this time with Barnett in control and Arlovski on the fence. Barnett lands a couple of knees before Arlovski circles and separates. Again they trade and clinch. Barnett lands a couple of punches to the body and thigh. Arlovski able to circle off but Barnett won’t let him go. Arlovski tries for a trip, but Barnett rolls with him, winds up on top and immediately moves into mount. Arlovski is trying to tie him up on around the waist, but Barnett is keeping his posture and landing punches to the body. Barnett sits up, throws an elbow, then a barrage of punches. Arlovski is covering, tries to escape, turns and rolls into turtle. Barnett rides it and lands a few additional shots to the side of Arlovski’s head before the horn sounds. Arlovski is slow to get up.
Arlovski’s mouth is wide open as the round begins. Barnett pumps his left then switches stances. They’re exchanging shots at range, Arlovski lands a clean right. Barnett misses with an overhand right, Arlovski counters with three unanswered shots. Barnett tries to clinch, but Arlovski lands a barrange of punches. Arlovski lands an uppercut and Barnett walks away, holding his eye, calling for a break. Ref doesn’t stop the action, Arlovski continues to attack despite Barnett’s protest, so Barnett clinches, lands a knee, and gets a takedown on Arlovski. Barnett is in side control, working on a kimura on Arlovski’s left arm. Arlovski turns to his side, Barnett threatens with an arm triangle, so Arlovski continues to move. Barnett takes the moment to slip his arm under Arlovski’s neck and moves to his back, sinking in the rear-naked choke. Arlovski has nowhere to go, taps, giving Barnett the submission win.
Official Results: Josh Barnett def. Andrei Arlovski via Submission (rear-naked choke). R3, 2:53
Main Card (UFC Fight Pass, 3pm ET)
Josh Barnett def. Andrei Arlovski via Submission (rear-naked choke). R3, 2:53
Alexander Gustafsson def. Jan Blachowicz via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ryan Bader def. Ilir Latifi via Knockout (knee). R2, 2:06
Nick Hein def. Tae Hyun Bang via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-28, 30-27)
Fight Pass Prelims (UFC Fight Pass, 11:45am ET)
Jessin Ayari def. Jim Wallhead via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Peter Sobotta def. Nicolas Dalby via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Ashlee Evans-Smith def. Veronica Macedo via TKO (elbows). R3, 2:46
Taylor Lapilus def. Leandro Issa via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Christian Colombo vs. Jarjis Danho declared a Majority Draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Jack Hermansson def. Scott Askham via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Rustam Khabilov def. Leandro Silva via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)