Well that was that. Anthony Johnson easily stuffed Ryan Bader's takedown attempt, avoided a submission and finished the former Arizona State wrestler in the first round. Bader did not even have the chance to attempt a a single strike before succumbing to the knockout.
In his lone defeat since his UFC return in 2014, Johnson was takendown three times by Daniel Cormier. In many ways his inability to stop the takedown was his downfall in that fight. However, outside of that performance, Johnson has shown solid if not impressive defensive wrestling. As mentioned, he stopped Bader's takedown with ease, and he stuffed all eight of Phil Davis' attempts. Obviously, Cormier is a world medalist in wrestling and on another level, but Johnson's defensive wrestling might actually be underrated at this point.
Johnson picked up his 15th career knockout and his 8th since moving up to light heavyweight in 2012. Bader had been knocked out on two previous occasions, against Lyoto Machida in 2012 and Glover Teixeira in 2013. This was his quickest knockout defeat.
"Rumble" earned a 9500 StrikeScore for the performance, which was the high score for the event, month and year to date. The knockout earns the first StrikeScore MMA Performance of the Month award.
The following is the updated StrikeScore MMA Top Ten Most Efficient Striking Performances in the UFC for 2016
|1||Anthony Johnson||Ryan Bader||UFC on Fox 18||1/30/2016||9500|
|2||Sheldon Westcott||Edgar Garcia||UFC 195||1/2/2016||3424|
|3||Chris Wade||Mehdi Baghdad||UFC FN 81||1/17/2016||590|
|4||Rob Font||Joey Gomez||UFC FN 81||1/17/2016||570|
|5||Patrick Cote||Ben Saunders||UFC FN 81||1/17/2016||547|
|6||Rafael Natal||Kevin Casey||UFC on Fox 18||1/30/2016||531|
|7||Masanori Kanehara||Michael McDonald||UFC 195||1/2/2016||432|
|8||Ilir Latifi||Sean O'Connell||UFC FN 81||1/17/2016||400|
|9||Ed Herman||Tim Boetsch||UFC FN 81||1/17/2016||310|
|10||Diego Brandao||Brian Ortega||UFC 195||1/2/2016||289|
Ben Rothwell submits Josh Barnett
As mentioned on the broadcast, Barnett had never been submitted due to an actual hold before. He tapped out twice to Mirko "CroCop" Filipović, once due to an injury and the other time to strikes. Of course, Barnett has fallen via submission in grappling matches. In fact, he submitted twice, to Mark Kerr and Ricardo Almeida, at the 2000 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships. Almeida was actually working Saturday's event as a judge for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. This is not to say that Barnett's ground game is overrated. These matches were 16 years ago, and Barnett is currently the Metamoris champion (for whatever that is worth these days...)
Mark Kerr vs. Josh Barnett
Ricardo Almeida vs. Josh Barnett
Kevin Casey's ouput falls off a cliff following flash knockdown
Occassionaly fighters get dropped in MMA. It is easy for a commentator or viewer to assume that the fighters have recovered after the round break or an extended period of time. However, this is often not the case. The fight between Rafael Natal and Kevin Casey is a good example of this. In the final seconds of round 1, Natal dropped Casey. During the break, he appeared to recover, but his performance shows a different story.
In round 1, Casey attempted 30 strikes and landed 33 percent. After the knock down, his output fell to 7 attempted sig stikres in round 2 and 12 in round 3.