Photo by Ric Fogel via ESPN
It was an impressive if somewhat plodding performance from "The Baby Faced Assassin," who badly wanted to deliver in his reintroduction to the larger mixed martial arts audience
He did exactly that.
While his game plan and subsequent carrying out of his strategy earned him a few boos during the rocky opening frame, he turned that all around in the second by locking in a choke and forcing "The Grim" to tap.
Barnett is back, baby.
But of course, his re-arrival wouldn't be complete without his grabbing the microphone from Gus Johnson's hands and cutting a pro wrestling style promo to rally fan support in lieu of the typical post-fight interview.
Here's his speech, in its entirety:
"Gus [Johnson], I love you, I know you have a job to do, but then again, so do I. I think the people want to hear what I've got to say right now, ain't that about right? [Applause] Now that sounds like some DALLAS! Now everything sounds bigger in Texas, that's champions right there -- give it up again! That's what I'm talking about.... Now, I can talk about calling people out, but we already know I'm fighting Sergei Kharitonov. Or we can talk about going to the UFC and doing all this different stuff and combining organizations and challenging this guy, or challenging that guy. But I still got a tournament to fight. Bit by bit, inch by inch, one by one, I'm going to take them down. One skeleton in the collection to the next until I'm standing on top of a pile of bodies with gold in my hand. And I want each and every one of you in this arena tonight, and [looks into camera] everyone at home, behind me. I want you all in my back pocket when I go into these fights, taking on the best in the world, so that I know I got that edge."
Does he have your support?
Will you be in Barnett's back pocket when he takes on Sergei Kharitonov later this year? Or is there no winning you over? And how about his promo? Any good?