Undefeated rising star Sage Northcutt tapped out to Bryan Barberena at 3:06 of Round 2, in a stunning upset to kick off UFC on FOX 18.
Barberena submitted Northcutt with a triangle arm choke that didn’t appear to be fully locked in. The victory is the first blemish for the heavily hyped Northcutt, who falls to 7-1. Barberena moves to 11-4.
“I knew it was a matter of time before he was going to tap,” Barberena said in a post-fight interview.
Barberena weathered Northcutt’s right hands to start the fight and seemed to get stronger as Round 1 went on. Northcuttt landed several right hands in the first round, opening up a cut above Barberena’s right eye, but rising star Northcutt tired himself out. Everytime Northcutt pushed the action, Barberena tied him up and smothered him.
Northcutt was exhausted to start Round 2. He threw a right hand and fell and tried to recover by rolling forward with a desperate kick before landing on his back. Barberena jumped on him and nailed him with several elbows to the head. Although Northcutt tried to defend from his back, Barberena was the stronger of the two men.
Although he never fully passed Northcutt’s guard, Barberena still tied him up with an arm triangle, shades of Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin, forcing Northcutt to tap out and lose his rising star status.
“I got my own hype behind me,” Barberena said. “My team, my friends, my family. They all knew I was going to win.”
Follow Joshua Molina on Twitter: @JECMolina