Josh Barnett and Travis Browne were ranked in the middle of top 10 at heavyweight, and the winner of this bout a t UFC 168 was in line for a fight with Fabricio Werdum at a date TBD. There was plenty on the line in Las Vegas, and the outcome was decided in surprisingly quick fashion.
Barnett tried for the takedown but was blasted with a knee from the clinch. As he tried to complete the double leg he ate a series of perfectly legal standing elbows and went limp. A sensational showing by Travis Browne. Travis Browne def. Josh Barnett via KO (elbows) at 1:00, round 1.
What was the high point of the fight?
Browne's violent elbows were stunning, accurate, and a tremendous way to end the fight.
Where do these two go from here?
Barnett (33-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) hadn't been knocked out in a fight since Pedro Rizzo back in 2001. Browne had his way with him and it's hard to imagine a path for the 36-year-old to reach a title shot at this stage in his career.
Browne (16-1-1 MMA, 7-1-1 UFC) finishes 2013 with a fantastic string of victories, all by KO. He knocked out Gabriel Gonzaga with standing elbows, Alistair Overeem with a front kick, and now Barnett with standing elbows akin to the Gonzaga finish. He'll get Werdum next and if he can win that it's hard to deny him a title shot.
Watch now, later, or never?
Now. It was a mauling and it lasted 60 seconds.