Welterweight Bryan Barberena started the week expecting to face a legend in Matt “The Immortal” Brown at UFC Vegas 44. Instead, he had to settle with Darian Weeks — a short notice replacement brought in after Brown tested positive for COVID-19.
Barberena, in fact, had boarded the plane to Las Vegas not even knowing who he’d be fighting — but ready to face anyone who stepped up. Unfortunately, the loss of the more marketable Brown had seen the fight demoted to the preliminary card on Saturday, but Barberena was no doubt happy to still be fighting.
Both Barberena and Weeks started the fight feeling each other out, throwing plenty of kicks. As Barberena came forward Weeks level changed and put him against the cage. Weeks used a trip to ground Barberena. Against the cage, Barberena did get back to his feet quickly. Barberena landed a number of good leg kicks ending the round on a high note.
Right away in round two Weeks closed the distance and tripped Barberena to the canvas. Barberena used an armbar attempt to get back to his feet. Weeks was throwing a ton of output. Not landing clean but giving Barberena a lot of looks. Weeks was using the front kick to the body a lot and throwing his hands behind those. Another takedown from Weeks, but once again Barberena got right back to his feet. Forward pressure from Barberena closed out the round.
Weeks started round three trying to take Barberena down but Barberena stayed up-right. Barberena started to come forward and landed some really good body strikes. Weeks was throwing back and landing but with no conviction. More inside leg kicks followed from Barberena. Both guys were exhausted and both were just slugging it out. Barberena started to pour it on and Weeks timed a takedown. Barberena was right back up chasing Weeks at the final bell.
— UFC (@ufc) December 5, 2021
A much needed win for Barberena, for Weeks, the first loss of his still young career.
Official Result: Bryan Barberena def. Darian Weeks by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)