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ufc on fox 18

A wild and crazy first month of 2016 for the UFC wrapped up Saturday with UFC on FOX 18.

It didn’t take Anthony Johnson long to show why he’s a scary contender at 205 pounds.

After “Rumble” defended a takedown attempt by Ryan Bader, he quickly gained mount and knocked the former Ultimate Fighter winner – and two-year unbeaten contender himself – out on the ground with a series of shots.

Johnson now has 10 career finishes inside the Octagon, tied for third-most in promotion history with former champion and Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell.

Ben Rothwell admitted he has the utmost respect for former UFC champion Josh Barnett. That didn’t stop him from becoming the first fighter to submit Barnett, locking up a second round choke for his fourth consecutive finish.

Competing in front of family and friends, Jimmie Rivera earned his 19th straight win, downing Iuri Alcantara via decision. Rivera, a native of New Jersey, picked up his third win with the UFC.

For as quickly as he emerged on the MMA scene, Sage Northcutt knew he would be a target. Bryan Barberena embraced that, earning a second round submission win over the 19-year-old prospect to kick-start the FOX main card.

Tarec Saffiedine capped off the FOX Sports 1 prelims by earning a hard-fought decision over Jake Ellenberger. Carlos Diego Ferreira turned back the effort of Ultimate Fighter alum Olivier Aubin-Mercier, claiming a decision victory.

Rafael Natal and Alexander Yakovlev picked up prelim finishes. Natal stopped Kevin Casey in the third round via strikes, while Yakovlev knocked George Sullivan out in Round 1.

Alex Caceres got back into the win column, scoring a decision over Masio Fullen, while Wilson Reis did the same vs. Dustin Ortiz.

Randy Brown highlighted the early UFC Fight Pass prelims with a decision victory over Matt Dwyer. Brown was featured on the reality series “Lookin’ for a Fight” with UFC president Dana White.

Tony Martin earned a third round technical submission on Felipe Olivieri, while Damon Jackson and Levan Makashvili fought to a majority draw. Makashvili was deducted a point for an illegal knee and eye poke in the third round.

Johnson and Rothwell took home “Performance of the Night” bonuses for their efforts, while Rivera and Alcantara were named the “Fight of the Night.” All four scored an additional $50,000.

The attendance was announced at 10,555 for a live gate of $818,000.

Complete results can be found below:

Anthony Johnson def. Ryan Bader via KO (strikes) at 1:26 of Round 1

Ben Rothwell def. Josh Barnett via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:48 of Round 2

Jimmie Rivera def. Iuri Alcantara via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Bryan Barberena def. Sage Northcutt via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:06 of Round 2

Tarec Saffiedine def. Jake Ellenberger via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Rafael Natal def. Kevin Casey via TKO (strikes) at 3:37 of Round 3

Wilson Reis def. Dustin Ortiz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Alexander Yakovlev def. George Sullivan via KO (strike) at 3:59 of Round 1

Alex Caceres def. Masio Fullen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Randy Brown def. Matt Dwyer via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Damon Jackson vs. Levan Makashvili ruled a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)

Tony Martin def. Felipe Olivieri via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:02 of Round 3

ufc on fox 18

Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of UFC on FOX 18.

Tonight’s card comes to us from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, with fights airing on FOX, FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, light heavyweight title hopefuls Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader square off in a five-round battle.

Johnson (20-5) is coming off a knockout of Jimi Manuwa that got him back on track following an early 2015 submission loss to Daniel Cormier for the vacant UFC title. “Rumble” has 10 of his last 11 fights overall.

Bader (20-4), a winner on Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, has not lost in over two years. He is on a five-fight win streak that includes victories over former champion Rashad Evans, Bellator title contender Phil Davis and Ovince Saint Preux.

In the co-main event, heavyweights Josh Barnett and Ben Rothwell throw down. Barnett, a former UFC champion himself, is 3-1 over his last four, while Rothwell has won three straight via finish over Matt Mitrione, ex-Strikeforce titleholder Alistair Overeem and Brandon Vera.

The other two FOX main card bouts feature Iuri Alcantara vs. Jimmie Rivera and “Super” Sage Northcutt moving up to welterweight to take on Bryan Barberena.

In early prelim action:

Tony Martin def. Felipe Olivieri via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:02 of Round 3

Damon Jackson vs. Levan Makashvili ruled a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)

Randy Brown def. Matt Dwyer via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Alex Caceres def. Masio Fullen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Alexander Yakovlev def. George Sullivan via KO (strike) at 3:59 of Round 1

Wilson Reis def. Dustin Ortiz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Rafael Natal def. Kevin Casey via TKO (strikes) at 3:37 of Round 3

Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Tarec Saffiedine def. Jake Ellenberger via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

MAIN CARD

Sage Northcutt vs. Bryan Barberena

We’ll begin the FOX main card with a welterweight showdown, as “Super” Sage Northcutt (7-0) bumps up to 170 pounds to take on Bryan Barberena (10-3). Northcutt, one of the top prospects in MMA, was originally scheduled to face Andrew Holbrook before an injury scrapped the lightweight contest.

Round 1: All smiles from Northcutt as he is introduced. This marks his third fight in four months, and Northcutt comes right out strong with a right. Huge flurry from Northcutt forces Barberena to tie things up. Combo lands and drops Barberena, forcing another clinch against the fence. Takedown for Northcutt and he immediately jumps on the back, looking for a rear-naked choke. Northcutt is showing all of his tools here early, but Barberena is remaining calm and showing his own power. Nice takedown for Barberena near the end of the round.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Northcutt

Round 2: Barberena on top early in the round, peppering Northcutt with elbows. The veteran is imposing his will from the top position, connecting with short elbows and forcing Northcutt to fight off his back. Barberena has opened up a cut on the face of Northcutt with one of those many elbows that found a home. Barberena slips on an arm-triangle, and while he wasn’t in tight, he got Northcutt to tap quickly.

Bryan Barberena def. Sage Northcutt via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:06 of Round 2

Conor McGregor

Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is laying down the law.

Aldo, who lost the title last December to Conor McGregor, is making it known that he will only return for a rematch with McGregor.

Currently, “Notorious” is scheduled to face Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight belt in March. He has made it known he will defend both titles if successful.

Fala galera, estava quieto até agora porque da maneira que a luta aconteceu eu já estava me preparando nos treinos pois tinha certeza que teria a revanche imediata. Porém Acho que me enganei. Então queria deixar bem claro para o @UFC que não aceito nenhuma luta que não seja pelo cinturão, por tudo que eu fiz nesses 8 anos , por tudo que eu aceitei e pela forma que a luta acabou. A única exceção seria uma luta a qualquer momento, em qualquer lugar e já que ele está com medo de me devolver o cinturão, não precisa ser pelo cinturão…@thenotoriousmma Espero que que vocês também cumpram a palavra de vocês @danawhiteufc @lorenzofertitta pois ainda acredito na empresa que trabalho. #rematch Hi everyone, i was quiet for a while because i was waiting for my rematch based on how the fight Went down, in fact I was already training for it, but apparently I was wrong. So I wanted to make something clear to UFC: for everything I have done, everything I have accepted and mostly how the fight ended, I will not accept any other fight other than a title shot . My only exception would be fighting thenotorious , at any time, anywhere , and once that he is afraid and knows that I'm gonna win …. Doesn't have to be title fight against him. Keep my belt, but I wanna whoop ur ass anywhere. @danawhite @lorenzofertitta @ufc keep ur word. I still believe in the company that I work for. #rematch

A photo posted by josealdojunioroficial (@josealdojunioroficial) on

demetrious johnson

If the UFC wants to pair flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson up against bantamweight titleholder Dominick Cruz, “Mighty Mouse” is going to steal a line from “Jerry McGuire.”

Johnson, who’s last loss came to Cruz at 135 pounds before moving down to 125 and earning UFC gold, appeared on a recent edition of Submission Radio and requested a flat-fee of $2 million to face “The Dominator” in a champion vs. champion match.

“I feel that if the UFC can net-gross $600 million, they can spare $2 million of that,” Johnson said. “They wouldn’t even (expletive) notice that it’s gone. So that’s my case, and I value myself at a high level and I think everybody should. And I think with all these other fighters, you know, fighting out the end of their contracts and seeing what they’re worth, I think it’s good.

“At the end of the day, it’s about can you pay your bills. We are all athletes and our window of opportunity to make as much money as possible is a short window. So for me to go up to a different weight-class and take on the champion – and like I said, guys, I don’t need to go to fight Dominick Cruz. I don’t need to go fight for the 135-pound belt. I don’t need to. There’s nothing in my life that says ‘arggh, you gotta do it’.

“Right now I’m focused on breaking the title defenses (record), putting enough money away for me (so that) after I’m done fighting in mixed martial arts I can have a smooth transition into my next career and have enough money to where I don’t have to look back.”

Currently, Johnson does not have a title fight set for 2016, though Henry Cejudo remains a strong possibility for his next challenger. He has turned back the efforts of Joseph Benavidez, John Dodson, John Moraga and Ali Bagautinov over the past few years.

“My mindset is to take care of my family and my kids and make sure I have enough money in investments,” Johnson added. “I’m good to go.”

ufc on fox 18

Check out all three segments from the recently-aired UFC on FOX 18 “Road to the Octagon” special.

The series went in-depth ahead of Saturday’s card that features light heavyweights Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader in the main event.

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