by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Another exciting installment of the UFC preliminary bouts on Spike TV gave an entrance to the UFC 104 pay-per-view with two great performances including former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Ryan Bader getting a unanimous decision win, while former K-1 kickboxer Pat Barry finished off former training partner Antoni Hardonk by TKO.
It was apparent early on that Ryan Bader was definitely ready to show off his stand-up skills in facing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Eric “Red” Schafer, as the former Ultimate Fighter winner opened up early in the fight with big punches trying to end the fight early. Bader landed a big shot midway through the first that rocked Schafer, and it looked like the finish was on its way, but the Milwaukee based fighter persevered and made in through the first five minutes, while enduring some severe punishment from the former Arizona State wrestler.
Schafer looked much stronger in the second round as Bader started to slow down after going all out in the first. Bader was winding up time and again looking for the big punch, while Schafer did a good job hitting jabs and landing the better strikes that snapped his opponent’s head back several times in the round.
Knowing that he may have dropped the second round, Bader picked up the pace in the final round, pressuring Schafer with his stand-up. The former TUF champion uncorked one big shot that landed right behind Schafer’s ear that left him on wobbly legs, and then being taken to the mat. Bader went for the finish, but again Schafer did a good job getting back to guard, bringing the fight to a stalemate on the ground.
As the fight came to a close, Bader stayed aggressive with his strikes, and landed a nice takedown to close out the 15-minute session. The judges saw it much the same way handing Bader the unanimous decision win, his third official win in the Octagon.
In a battle of kickboxers and former training partners, Pat Barry got the best of Antoni Hardonk with a devastating knockout in the 2nd round of their heavyweight bout on the undercard of UFC 104.
As the fight began, Barry stretched out his hand in a show of sportsmanship, but Hardonk wanted none of it and immediately came after his opponent with his signature leg kicks. The kicks landed with their regular thud, and Barry soon switched his stance to keep his lead leg out of trouble.
During two separate exchanges, Hardonk landed accidental fingers into Barry’s eyes, which caused him to wince a few times in the fight, and at the end of the first round he had a noticeable mouse under his right eye. Strangely enough the fight did make it to the ground in the first five minutes with Barry getting side control, working for elbows and punches before they got back to the feet.
The second round saw the true dominance from Barry, who figured out his range landing huge straight punches that continuously landed and caused a whiplash effect on Hardonk’s head. Barry threw and popped Hardonk over and over again, and it was actually a glancing shot that put the Dutch fighter on the mat.
Barry followed up with another huge punch that made Hardonk roll over and turtle up as the referee rushed in for the save.
“Me and my leader, Duke Roufus, said straight punches all the way against taller guys,” Barry told UFC commentator Joe Rogan following the victory. “Cause everybody keeps saying I’m too small, that’s alright I’m going to keep stretching, get a little taller.”
One of the most powerful strikers in the heavyweight division, Barry picks up his second win the Octagon as the New Orleans native was elated with the victory over his friend and former training partner.
“Sorry for being a little emotional, but that meant everything in the world to me just now,” Barry said while the crowd in Los Angeles cheered loudly for him after the win.