With a series of nasty elbows, Bryan Barberena set himself up to earn the biggest victory of his career.
After taking Sage Northcutt down in the first round, Barberena did the same in the second, locking up an arm-triangle choke to kickoff the UFC on FOX 18 main card.
Northcutt was scheduled to meet Andrew Holbrook at lightweight, but an injury to Holbrook caused the change in weight classes and opponents. Barberena took full-advantage, taking it all in afterwards.
“It feels great,” he said. “I got my own hype behind me. (My friends, family and coaches) all knew I was coming in here and gonna win. They had no doubt in me.”
While the finish was a bit odd looking as Northcutt was still in half-guard, Barberena admitted it is something he catches “quite often” in practice.
“I would have liked to pass,” he said. “I had it tight. I knew it was just a matter of time before he tapped.”
Northcutt the 19-year-old prospect who burst on the scene last year, suffered his first career loss.