Anthony Johnson stormed through Ryan Bader in the main event to earn a TKO finish in less than 90 seconds at UFC on FOX 18.
Johnson knew Bader was going to try and take him down and left nothing to chance on an obvious attempt, securing a reverse full-mount and raining down punches until the referee stopped it.
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Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Jimmie Rivera and Luri Alcantara secured Fight-of-the-Night honours, while Johnson and Ben Rothwell earned performances-of-the-night. Each fighter earned an additional $50,000 USD bonus.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cas Wiseman runs it down:
UFC ON FOX 18
SAGE NORTHCUTT VS BRYAN BARBERENA
WINNER: BRYAN BARBERENA VIA SUBMISSION R2 3:06
WISEMAN PREDICTION: SAGE NORTHCUTT VIA SUBMISSION
Wiseman: Sage came out aggressive and fast like always, but Bam Bam got up from takedowns then landed a few strikes of his own. In the second round, Bam Bam got things to the mat and used his elbows to cause problems. He cut Sage, got him tired, and was able to squeeze out a choke. The position is questionable as to how much pressure he could put on the neck, but regardless, Sage tapped. Great eight-day performance for Bam Bam.
#14 LURI ALCANTARA VS JIMMIE RVIERA
WINNER: JIMMIE RIVERA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: LURI ALCANTARA VIA SUBMISSION
Wiseman: The key to success was the fact that Rivera set the pace and gameplan the entire match. Alcantara never changed his style or gameplan, which left him not finding his timing. He lacked his usual combinations and couldn’t fire with what he typical does while moving backwards. Could have been Alcantara’s corner not giving advice or Alcantara just not taking that advice. Either way, Rivera showed that he can cripple you if you gets his gameplan going.
#8 JOSH BARNETT VS #7 BEN ROTHWELL
WINNER: BEN ROTHWELL VIA SUBMISSION R2 3:48
WISEMAN PREDICTION: JOSH BARNETT VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: Both guys were very tentative to start off the match. Barnett seemed to find his timing first, but Rothwell came on stronger towards the end of the first and all of the second. Barnett was told to go for the clinch, but when he did, he walked straight in to a submission. Rothwell cranked Barnett’s neck like none other. A big message sent by Rothwell tonight.
#2 ANTHONY JOHNSON VS #4 RYAN BADER
WINNER: ANTHONY JOHNSON VIA TKO R1 1:26
WISEMAN PREDICTION: RYAN BADER VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: Bader needed to come in there and get a takedown quick. He needed to zap the energy of Rumble quickly. The problem is that he didn’t set up a takedown, but just shot in. Rumble has good takedown defence, so you need to catch him offguard. Bader didn’t do what he typically does with setting up a takedown, a huge mistake, and Rumble crippled him. Made it look easy. Huge performance by Rumble.