It was an epic encounter between two veterans of the UFC heavyweight scene, and one that definitely wasn’t one-sided in nature. But in the end, Josh Barnett became the first-ever fighter to make former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski tap out, doing so in the main event of UFC Fight Night 93 in Hamburg, Germany.

Barnett overcomes slow start to beat Arlovski via rear-naked choke

Early on in the fight, Barnett seemed to be worse for the wear after both men started out with some hard and stiff punches.

He was taken down by Arlovski, but that takedown went to naught at the time the referee called for a restart. Round 2 was largely uneventful, as the fighters slowed things down considerably and toned down on the powerful strikes. But things got interesting again in Round 3, as the fast-and-furious punches started once again from Arlovski’s end.

During that round, Arlovski, who had seemingly stunned Barnett a bit following his flurry of punches, accidentally poked his opponent in the eye.

But with the referee ignoring Barnett’s complaints about the eye poke, the American fighter followed up his second-round takedown of Arlovski with another one that allowed him to set up a rear-naked choke. The Belarusian tapped out soon after the submission was locked in, as Barnett got the win at the 2:53 mark of the third round.

With the win, Barnett improved to 35-8 for his MMA career, and 7-3 in the UFC. Arlovski dropped to 25-13 MMA and 14-7 UFC following his loss.

The rest of the card: Bader scores impressive KO win over Latifi

One of the more thrilling moments of UFC Fight Night 93 came when light heavyweight Ryan Bader launched a powerful knee that knocked Ilir Latifi out at 2:06 of the second round. This brought the Nevada native’s record up to 21-5 MMA and 14-5 UFC, and came more than seven months after his last fight, a first-round knockout loss to Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Bader.

In the other main card fights, Alexander Gustafsson beat Jan Blachowicz via unanimous decision in the other light heavyweight match of the night, while Nick Hein also pulled off a unanimous win, edging Tae Hyun Bang in lightweight competition.

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