"Big Ben" forced "Warmaster" to tap for the first time in his almost 20-year career.
Ben Rothwell (36-9), 34, submitted Josh Barnett (34-8) via "gogo" choke in the second round at UFC on FOX 18 earlier tonight (Sat. Jan. 30, 2016) inside Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The official stoppage came at 3:48 of the second round.
After a bit of a feeling out process in the first, Barnett began to land some short jabs at range with Rothwell from southpaw. A cut opened up on the nose of Rothwell about half way through the round. Rothwell initiated a clinch with about two minutes left in the round, but Barnett easily escaped. "Big Ben" was able to land a couple of combinations, but Barnett countered with some short elbows and once again with his jab.
In the second round, Rothwell had some success early on, but Barnett clinched up and pressed him against the fence to avoid any trouble. Rothwell continued to fire away and move forward and landed with moderate success. Barnett shot in on a single leg, but it ended up being a costly mistake.
Rothwell locked up the former UFC Heavyweight champion's neck and seconds later forced Barnett to tap for the first time in his MMA career.
It's a huge victory for Rothwell, who was ranked No. 7 in the division heading into this bout, is close to becoming a legitimate title contender after this fight. He has now won four straight and is 6-3 in UFC competition.
Meanwhile, it was a tough loss for the 38-year-old veteran, Barnett, who falls to 6-3 in UFC and 2-2 in his second stint since returning to the promotion.