Back in 2006, Josh Barnett submitted to strikes in a bout with PRIDE vs. Mirko “CroCop.”
Saturday night at UFC on FOX 18, Ben Rothwell became the first fighter in Barnett’s career to score a submission with an actual hold, locking up a guillotine choke in the second round of their co-main event contest.
Rothwell (36-9) has quickly turned himself into a serious threat in the division, earning his fourth consecutive win – all of which have been finishes.
After a 2013 submission loss to Gabriel Gonzaga, the former USMMA champion finished Brandon Vera via strikes and added a first round finish of Alistair Oveereem a year later. He submitted Matt Mitrione last June and now has Barnett’s name on his resume.
“Josh Barnett just made me a better fighter than I could ever be,” Rothwell said. “To submit him is a message to the rest of the heavyweight division.”
Showing Barnett, a former UFC champion the ultimate sign of respect, Rothwell called the win his “greatest” even after he captured the title himself.
Barnett (34-8) dropped his second fight in the past three, as he was also finished via strikes in 2013 vs. Travis Browne. He did score a decision over Roy Nelson last September.