Pat (HD) Barry weathered the early storm, knocking out Shane del Rosario at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale in Las Vegas Saturday.
Del Rosario immediately asserted his size and grappling advantage, dominating Barry with takedowns and submission attempts in the first round. However, he appeared completely gassed at the start of the second. Barry took advantage, cracking the Strikeforce veteran with a nasty overhand left. The former K-1 kickboxer then went in for the kill, finishing del Rosario with a right-hook.
“It’s been rough ride coming out here,” an emotional Barry said. “Everyone who says they don’t get nerves, they’re a liar or never been hit in the head.
“I told you I’m throwing heat or I’m throwing nothing.”
Barry’s last outing saw him suffer a TKO loss to Lavar Johnson seven months ago. Del Rosario has now dropped his last two bouts.
Dustin (The Diamond) Poirier got back in the win column, submitting Jonathan Brookins in a wild slugfest.
Brookins surprised many by hurting the talented striker early, but Poirier soon turned the tables, taking the fight to the TUF 12 winner. After getting dropped by a jab, Brookins shot in for a single-leg takedown, but Poirier sprawled and locked in a beautiful D’arce choke for the win.
“We only have 15 minutes to get it done; I don’t want to waste any time,” Poirier said. “I wanted to come back and make a statement.
“I knew Brookins had a solid cross. He hurt me early. He started swinging wild, but I clipped him and backed him off.”
Ironically, Poirier’s last appearance saw him lose via D’arce choke to Chan Sung Jung in May.
A scheduled bout between Melvin (The Young Assassin) Guillard and Jamie (C-4) Varner was cancelled after the latter fell ill. According to Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer, Varner was vomiting backstage, forcing doctors to call off the fight. Both competitors received their show money.
During an interview with Heidi Androl, Guillard called the former WEC lightweight champ a coward for backing out. The two are now expected to meet at UFC 155 in Vegas Dec. 29.
Mike (Quicksand) Pyle picked up his third straight victory, knocking out James Head in the final preliminary bout.
Head pushed the pace throughout the early minutes, pressing Pyle against the cage, where he delivered punches to the body. However, Pyle soon locked up a Thai clinch and uncorked a stiff knee to the face, dropping Head. Pyle followed up with a few unanswered punches on the mat for the TKO win.
“I’m so stoked right now, man,” Pyle said. “I know it’s not showing on my face, but I’m overwhelmed by emotions right now.”
“(I was thinking), ‘I hope he stays down,’ because he got me pretty good before we went into that clinch. I was thinking about SpongeBob SquarePants for some reason.”
Johnny (Brutal) Bedford earned a dominant second-round KO victory over Marcos Vinicius (Vina) Borges Pancini. After dropping Pancini with a right-straight, Bedford threw a kick to the body and unloaded with punches to secure the win.
Rustam (Tiger) Khabilov delivered one of the most spectacular knockouts of the year, suplexing Vinc (From Hell) Pichel right onto the back of his head. He then fired off punches on the mat to seal the deal.
Anthony (T.J.) Waldburger put Nick (The Jersey Devil) Catone to sleep with a triangle choke for the technical-submission win.
“I’m excited, it’s a great early Christmas present,” Waldburger said. “I love finishing the fight — especially with a submission.
“I tried for a guillotine, but it just didn’t feel right — his arm was inside. So I switched to a triangle.”
Hugo (Wolverine) Viana scored a brutal knockout victory over Reuben Duran in his bantamweight debut. After dropping Duran three times in the first round, the Brazilian put Duran away with a heavy overhand right.
Mike (The Wolverine) Rio picked up an impressive submission victory, catching John Cofer in a tight third-round armbar.
Timothy Elliott bounced back from a vicious illegal knee, bloodying Jared (The Jackhammer) Papazian en route to gritty unanimous-decision victory.