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