It’s time for the heavyweights, with former champ Josh Barnett taking on the dangerous Ben Rothwell in the co-main event.
It takes about five seconds for these behemoths to take up position about five feet from each other and start throwing punches at faces, with Barnett mixing in the occasional kick to keep Rothwell thinking. Two minutes in and Rothwell’s visage is red and bloody, three and half minutes in Rothwell initiates a clinch, and by the end of five minutes the crowd is booing because neither man has decapitated the other.
Gotta love New Jersey.
Barnett’s penchant for ducking his head to his left when Rothwell swings turns into a liability in the second – when it comes to the striking game, it enables Rothwell to angle down his punches exactly where he knows Barnett is going to be. In the grappling aspect, it enables Rothwell to catch Barnett’s neck and latch on, which he does with a tight modified guillotine. The ex-champ rolls to his back to try to alleviate pressure, but it’s no use, and Barnett is forced to tap out at 3:28 of Round 2.