Heavyweight action kicked off the UFC 279 televised prelims, with a pair of heavyweights pushing the upper limit of the weight class in action.
In fact, one man had pushed straight past it: Chris Barnett, who at 267.5lbs on Friday had become just the second fighter in UFC history to miss weight for a heavyweight bout. The infamously rotund Barnett has had a rough year, having lost his wife to encephalitis this past May. With that in mind, the weight miss is an easy one to forgive, but he would still have his hands full with Collier, who tipped the scales at 265lbs.
The card’s lone heavyweight scrap, officially, saw the big boys swinging right out of the gate. And they did not stop. Barnett was dropped, and dropped again, but somehow survived and even returned fire, stunning Collier. Barnett was busted open over one eye, and briefly tied things up. Collier fired an elbow off the break, and after ninety seconds of chaos, they finally slowed. On the next exchange, Barnett landed flush, halting Collier in his tracks. Collier then pressed forward, landing clean with a right hand, taking advantage of the vision issues Barnett was having due to the aforementioned cut.
Barnett then fired a spinning kick to the midsection, landing. Collier answered with a trip takedown, and moved to mount. Barnett gave up his back, and Collier had him flattened out, landing strikes. The ref warned Barnett to move, and he did, just barely. Another warning had Barnett rolling, and Collier tried to lock on a rear-naked choke, but couldn’t finish. Instead, Barnett popped back up, to a good cheer from the crowd, though he appeared to be having trouble with his jaw.
“Beast Boy” Barnett opened up the second landing on Collier, and moments later they were standing and trading again. A “Barnett” chant then broke out in the crowd. After another exchange, Collier moved for a takedown, missed it, and wound up with Barnett taking the back. Collier went for a leg lock, but ate a bunch of ground n’ pound, and eventually Barnett moved to mount. Like Barnett had in the first, Collier was given plenty of chances to survive, and for a while he did. He moved just enough to stay in the fight, but soon the ground n’ pound was too much, with the ref calling it — and Barnett celebrating with his traditional front flip.
Following the win, in his post-fight interview, well — there’s no one quite like Chris Barnett.
— UFC (@ufc) September 11, 2022
Official Result: Chris Barnett def. Jake Collier by TKO, Round 2, 2:24