Chris Barnett has long been a fan favorite on the regional MMA scene. A big man occasionally fighting at super heavyweight, “Beastboy” had become known as an agile fighter for his size with a tendency to throw spinning strikes and other unconventional attacks. All that meant there would be some added attention paid to his octagon debut at UFC Vegas 27 on Saturday, against veteran Ben Rothwell.
Rothwell was very much the antithesis of Barnett in terms of style, making the featured preliminary card bout a rather interesting match-up.
Barnett right away started to press forward to open the heavyweight scrap. He landed some nice leg kicks and was lunging with the superman punch. Rothwell continued to stay calm, and was looking extremely efficient. Barnett was throwing a lot of volume mixing it up and giving a lot of looks. As they clashed midways in Rothwell landed a takedown. With a minute left, Rothwell got into mount and took the back. Rothwell almost had a head crank but Barnett escaped and got back to the feet. Both guys slugged it out to end the round.
— UFC (@ufc) May 22, 2021
Barnett looked gassed and sloppy to start round two. Still staying busy, “Beastboy” was touching him up. Barnett was landing big shots but they were not fazing Rothwell. Rothwell sat in the pocket landing well, including some really slick uppercuts. It became too much for Barnett as he shot in on the legs. That allowed Rothwell to submit him with a GoGo choke — which was announced as a guillotine, earning a look from “Big Ben.”
Official Result: Ben Rothwell def. Chris Barnett by Submission (GoGo Choke), Round 2, 2:07