UFC 279 started with a bang. Heavyweight clash between Chris Barnett and Jake Colier started off the televised prelims.
Chris Barnett came into it at 267.5 lbs – as the second ever heavyweight to not make the heavyweight limit of 265 lbs.
Barnett is usually a ball of joy however he’s had a rough go this year having lost his wife to sickness back in May. This is perhaps why nobody’s really slamming him for the weight miss. But also it’s 2.5 lbs – which is a tiny percentage at heavyweight.
Both came out swinging in round one. Banrett would go on to get dropped several times but survived and returned fire. Barnett’s eye was visibly mangled in the clash.
On the very next exchange Barnett landed a crisp strike straight to Collier’s chin. Collier pressed forward trying to capitalize on the eyesight issues Barnett was having from the cut and the swelling.
Barnett then fired a spinning kick to the body which landed. Collier landed a foot trip takedown and quickly progressed to mount. Barnett gave up his back – it looked all but done for Collier.
Despite the advantage, Collier couldn’t finish on the back, Barnett got back up to the chagrin of the audience.
In round 2 they were trading once again. Crowd was visibly cheering on Barnett. After Collier shot, Barnett ended up taking his back. Collier tried to leg lock Barnett but ate a bunch of shots in process. Now it was Barnett’s turn to be in mount.
CHRIS BARNETT TKOs JAKE COLLIER!! WHAT A FIGHT!! pic.twitter.com/FXfQ5ITEI7
— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) September 11, 2022
Ref was carefully watching and decided Collier had had enough and was no longer defending intelligently and called it.
Chris Barnett with the big boy flip celly.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 11, 2022
Barnett delivered quite a speech afterwards.
“Let me tell you right now. Me dudes like Jake. That’s what we do. That’s why we in this, we signed up To the best organization in the world. UFC that’s what we are.
That’s what we do. We come out here for you. And I love it. Thank you for the.
Love and everything. This means the world to me. This means the world to me. I love you. Through from the bottom of my heart. From the bottom up. Thank you. We’re nothing.
Without you. Nothing. Stand up for yourselves. Stand up for yourselves.”
Chris Barnett was transported to the hospital afterwards, no interview.
— UFC (@ufc) September 11, 2022
No matter what you say, Chris Barnett is a warrior and a fun entertainer 🤣.
Congrats man 👏🏾 #UFC279
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) September 11, 2022
This was most fun I’ve had in long time. Wow Chris Barnett did it! #UFC279
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) September 11, 2022