Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) put on a wild mixed martial arts (MMA) event last night (Sat., Jan. 30, 2016) at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, as UFC on FOX 18 delivered a bevy of jaw dropping finishes.
In the main event of the evening, Anthony Johnson staked his claim as the No. 1 Light Heavyweight contender after obliterating Ryan Bader in under 90 seconds, earning his 10th knockout victory inside the Octagon (highlights here).
The co-main event provided one of the more shocking results in recent memory, as Ben Rothwell became the first fighter to legitimately submit Josh Barnett in MMA competition. The win was "Big Ben's" fourth in a row, and could have earned him a shot at UFC gold.
With that quick overview of the night's marquee bouts, here are your biggest winners, as well as the runners-up from New Jersey.
Biggest Winner: Anthony Johnson
Is there anyone more terrifying in UFC today than Anthony Johnson?
"Rumble" continues to violently put away his opponents in frightening fashion, making top contenders look like chumps in front of a national television audience.
Johnson completely manhandled Ryan Bader in Newark, and punished the No. 4 ranked contender for every mistake he made inside the Octagon.
Once Johnson stuffed Bader's initial takedown, it was only a matter of time before Bader was unconscious on the canvas.
The finish was "Rumble's" 10th career UFC knockout, and his 15th overall.
Since returning to UFC, Johnson is 5-1 with four devastating knockouts over some of the best 205-pound fighters in the world, with his only loss coming against current Light Heavyweight kingpin Daniel Cormier on short notice.
After winning another $50,000 bonus check, Johnson may very well decide to sit and wait until Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier rematch for UFC gold, or he may opt to come back and sleep another top contender in order to get paid.
Either way, I know I'll be watching.
"Big Ben" did it again.
In his 45th professional fight, Ben Rothwell shocked the MMA and combat sports world, stunningly submitting Josh Barnett in the second round of their Heavyweight tussle in Newark.
Although Rothwell was the underdog heading into the critical showdown, many suspected he had the opportunity to win the fight via knockout.
But to suggest anybody could have expected the Wisconsin native would tap Barnett?
Rothwell is yet another rugged Heavyweight veteran finding himself amidst a major career resurgence, following the footsteps of Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski before him.
"Big Ben" has now won four straight Heavyweight bouts via finish, and two straight via his dangerous gogo choke.
With the logjam at the top of the Heavyweight division consisting of UFC Champion Fabricio Werdum, former king Cain Velasquez, and Stipe Miocic, it is hard to imagine that Rothwell gets a shot at gold even with his surreal upset at UFC on FOX 18.
Regardless, the submission victory for Rothwell will undoubtedly go down as one of his career best.
Bryan Barberena was supposed to be the sacrificial lamb against Sage Northcutt on FOX, but the MMA Lab product flipped the script on UFC brass and picked up his biggest career win on the biggest platform possible.
After a shaky first round that saw Barberena eat some powerful shots from Northcutt, "Bam Bam" was gifted top control by the 19-year old after an ill-fated flying attack that landed him on his back.
Moments later, Northcutt tapped to an arm-triangle choke that absolutely should not have been fight-ending.
Regardless, Barberena got the job done, and on short notice no less.
While Barberena won't supplant Northcutt in UFC's marketing push, he can always hang his hat on the fact that he blew up the "Super" Sage hype train.
Now we just have to wait and see what he has as an encore.
Biggest Loser: Ryan Bader
Ryan Bader genuinely looked as if he regretted his decision to fight Anthony Johnson as he paced the Octagon during Bruce Buffer's fighter announcements, and just about 90 seconds later we all found out why.
Then again, most MMA fans already knew why Bader would be potentially terrified of the beast that is "Rumble," especially considering his penchant for violent finishes.
Unfortunately for Bader, it didn't take long before he became just the latest victim of Johnson's heinous power in his fists.
"Darth" foolishly attempted a weak single-leg takedown just 10 seconds into the fight, before holding on to a futile kimura that caused him to be mounted, and subsequently knocked out under a barrage of haymakers.
That was certainly not the statement Bader was trying to make to UFC brass.
The former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner has a proclivity for crumbling in his biggest fights, just as he did against Jon Jones, Lyoto Machida, Tito Ortiz, and now Anthony Johnson.
The loss snapped Bader's five fight winning streak, sending him back down the Light Heavyweight ladder to start the climb all over again.
Hype train officially derailed.
Sage Northcutt's meteoric rise to stardom at the ripe age of 19-years old came to a crashing halt in New Jersey last night at the hands of Bryan Barberena.
"Super" Sage once again showed major holes in his ground game, as Barberena was able to force Northcutt to tap out to an arm triangle in half guard. Barberena noted he finishes that type of submission quite often, but any veteran UFC fighter would have escaped out of that fight-ending choke.
What makes matters worse is that Northcutt initiated the grappling on the mat when he attempted a wild flying suicide kick that ultimately landed him flat on his back with Barberena on top.
The loss will be a tough pill to swallow for Northcutt, but at 19-years old there is a ton of room for him to grow. With coaches like Firas Zahabi around him, who knows what Northcutt could ultimately become?
Maybe UFC brass brought him along too quickly, but this loss could potentially be a blessing in disguise. With the spotlight not nearly as bright, maybe Northcut can develop slowly and become a legitimate contender in the coming years.
His performance in New Jersey was certainly forgettable, but this isn't the end of Sage Northcutt.
Heavyweight MMA is just weird.
No one -- and I mean literally nobody -- could have guessed Josh Barnett would have tapped against Ben Rothwell.
Barnett is undoubtedly one of the best Heavyweight grapplers of all time. Last year, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion became the first man to submit the lauded Dean Lister in over a decade.
Rothwell submitting Barnett is just unfathomable.
Once you get past the shock and awe, the loss really stings for "The Warmaster." Riding high following an impressive win over Roy Nelson, Barnett was looking to string together one or two more victories en route to a UFC title shot.
At 38-years old Barnett isn't getting any younger, and now having lost two of his last three via finish, his days as a top-tier Heavyweight could be numbered.
Then again, with all the craziness in the Heavyweight division, maybe Barnett still has another title run in him even after the devastating loss to Rothwell
Crazier things have happened right?
That's a wrap!
For complete UFC on FOX 18: "Johnson vs. Bader" results and coverage of all the night's action click here.