Travis Browne came into his bout at UFC 168 against Josh Barnett this past Saturday night (Dec. 28, 2013) as he usually does: The underdog. It only took one minute for "Hapa" to prove the oddsmakers wrong once again, earning the "Knockout of the Night" and, in the process, sending another reminder that he is a dangerous force to be reckoned with atop the Heavyweight division.
The lead-up to the scrap had largely been business as usual, with Barnett doing most of the talking and Browne sitting back and soaking it in. When the door closed on the two inside the Octagon, however, Browne released the flood, steamrolling the man Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White proclaimed was at the top of the heap in the heavyweight division.
To watch full fight video highlights from Travis Browne vs. Josh Barnett, including the knockout sequence, click here.
In his post-fight victory speech, Browne finally opened up and put the division on notice. In particular, the man Browne will most certainly fight next, Fabricio Werdum.
"There’s a new breed of fighter and he's right here. I’m coming for you. Looks like Werdum and I have a date. I'm ready whenever you are, sweetheart"
What Browne seems is alluding to is exactly what he conveyed at the UFC 168 pre-fight press conference, where the 31-year-old made it clear he has only been fighting mixed martial arts (MMA) for five years and has already learned so much.
It's hard to argue with the 6'7" Hawaiian giant, who bounced back from a loss against Antonio Silva in 2012 to rally off three finishes, fattening his record to 16-1 (12 coming by way of knockout).
How much more can the Greg Jackson-trained fighter evolve? Only time will tell.