UFC heavyweight Chris Barnett has delivered one of the most unique victories the sport has ever seen, matched only by the 35-year-old's wild in-ring celebration.
Barnett stopped veteran Gian Villante in the second round at UFC 268, dropping his opponent with a beautifully timed roundhouse kick.
'PIECE OF S**T': Heated UFC rivalry explodes in fiery face-off
The kick belied Barnett's somewhat ungainly stature, with the devastating shot allowing him to move in and finish the fight as Villante desperately tried to protect his head.
Then Barnett delivered the biggest highlight: an incredible frontflip, somehow improved by the fact that he landed on his butt.
The kick, the victory and the celebration left UFC fans absolutely gobsmacked on social media, with the sequence of events enough to bring a smile to the face of even the most hardcore fight fans.
— UFC_AUSNZ (@UFC_AUSNZ) November 6, 2021
In the midst of the exuberant celebration, Villante went to shake the hand of Barnett, who was still celebrating in full swing.
However once he had calmed down, Barnett sought to ensure the respect was shown both ways, imploring the crowd to applaud his opponent.
"My man right here, 2-week-old at home," Barnett said.
"He's about to retire, excellent football coach, got another son that's 22 months. This is his town, this is his place, y'all stand up, cheer for my man.
"This might have been his last one, but this ain't. He's going to be riding with me from now on."
Now holding a career MMA record of 21-7, Barnett opened his UFC tenure with a submission loss to Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 188 in May. He managed to make his win much more memorable.
Fans took to social media in delight over the wild result.
That was absolutely bananas. Wheel kick from Chris Barnett, who celebrates with a front flip into a sitting landing. Awesome. #UFC268
— Simon Head (@simonhead) November 6, 2021
Chris Barnett just scored one of the most impressive wheel kicks I've ever seen from a heavyweight, and then proceeds to cut the most incredible promo to big up Gian Villante in his hometown retirement fight.
— Andy Stevenson (@andyste123) November 6, 2021
Chris Barnett lands a massive KO and then pumps up Gian Villante. Give that man a bonus. #UFC268
— Trent Reinsmith (@TrentReinsmith) November 6, 2021
Chris Barnett will be in the discussion for KO of the Year, but he just won post-fight interview of the year hands down. Class act. #UFC268
— Mike Heck (@MikeHeck_JR) November 6, 2021
Chris Barnett is the man, just gave an amazing plug to Gian Villante, who didn't even get interviewed by Joe Rogan even though he's retiring. #UFC268
— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) November 6, 2021
Chris Barnett! Wow what a maneuver! Gorgeous spinning wheel kick. And the celebration. Great stuff. #UFC268
— Peter Stringer (@peterstringer) November 6, 2021
Bruce Buffer back for UFC 268 after battle with COVID-19
Longtime UFC broadcasting legend Bruce Buffer is back.
Buffer, after contracting COVID-19 last month and missing his first pay-per-view event in more than 24 years, will make his return to the Octagon on Saturday at UFC 268 in New York.
“I don’t feel ill effects right now,” Buffer said Wednesday, via MMA Fighting.
“I feel good and I think my lungs are 100%. I’m ready to roar.”
Buffer missed UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi last weekend after he contracted the coronavirus — something he said “got really bad” for about four days.
The 64-year-old said he received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine well before he tested positive for the coronavirus, something he credits for stopping the coronavirus from hitting him even harder. After that and other treatments, he said, he’s feeling back to his normal self.
Naturally, as he’s been the voice of the UFC for more than two decades, he was very concerned about how the coronavirus would impact his lungs and his voice.
“That’s one of the biggest fright factors I had,” Buffer said, via MMA Fighting. “I started feeling it in my lungs and I started coughing and coughing up stuff, like, ‘Oh man, is this going to go where I think it’s going to go?’ ”
Buffer is perhaps among the most recognisable voices throughout all of sports, as he’s called UFC bouts, boxing events, video games and even worked on “Monday Night Football.” He joined UFC in 1996, and said he believes he’s been at every event since UFC 13.
Even though his streak is over, he’s not too upset bout it. “Streaks are meant to be broken,” he said.
But more importantly, Buffer had a message for UFC fans.
“All I can tell everybody is that this [pandemic] is not over,” Buffer said, via MMA Fighting. “If I get it, anybody can get it … So just play it safe. And it’s no joke. That’s all I can tell you.
I’m in really good shape. You know that. I take care of myself. I eat right, I train right, I’ve been an athlete my entire life."
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