Heavyweight Chris Barnett continues to punch and dance his way into the hearts of UFC fans. Barnett scored a second-round TKO of Jake Collier after taking an absurd amount of punishment in Round 1 on the preliminary card of UFC 279.
It was a rough start for Barnett. Collier popped Barnett with a counter right hook that sent him plummeting to the mat. Barnett returned to his feet and pulled his opponent into a sloppy brawl that brought the T-Mobile Arena crowd to life. The second half of the round was even more troubling for "Beast Boy" as Collier took down Barnett and walloped on him with ground strikes that had the referee considering a stoppage.
Barnett's face was badly damaged from the punishment he took in Round 1. His left eye was nearly swollen shut, a nasty cut opened just below that and the UFC commentators expressed concern about his jaw. A doctor inspected Barnett but ultimately gave him the clearance to continue fighting.
Buoyed by booming chants of "Barnett" from the Las Vegas faithful, Barnett took the fight to a visibly fatigued Collier. Barnett's opponent shot for a sloppy takedown that gifted Barnett top position. Barnett rode out Collier's attempts to escape and put leather to flesh. The referee waved off the fight at 2:24 of Round 2 and awarded Barnett the TKO win.
"We come out here for y'all and I love it," Barnett said during his post-fight interview. "Thank you for the love and everything. This means the world to me. I love y'all for real from the bottom of my heart. Thank you! We're nothing without y'all. Nothing! Stand up for yourselves!"
Barnett improved to 23-8 professionally and 2-2 in the UFC. He scored a spinning wheel kick knockout against Giant Villante at UFC 268 that really endeared him to the UFC audience.
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