Bryan Barberena eagerly took on the biggest opportunity of his career when offered the chance to replace the injured Andrew Holbrook on short notice against unbeaten phenom Sage Northcutt Saturday at Prudential Center. The result in the FOX-televised opener: Northcutt is unbeaten no more, as Barberena won the welterweight bout via second-round submission.
Northcutt controlled the majority of the opening round behind his fast hands and a slam with three minutes left. But once Barberena rose and saw his own blood flowing from a cut over his left eye, it seemed to kick him into another gear, and in the closing minute he scored a takedown and also appeared to rattle Northcutt with a pair of right hands.
Some flash from “Super” Sage in round two resulted in him ending up on his back, and Barberena took full advantage with some hard ground strikes. Northcutt tried to stay busy from his back, but Barberena wasn’t letting him get free, eventually sinking in an arm triangle choke that forced the Texan to tap out at the 3:06 mark.
“I’m just disappointed," Northcutt said.
With the win, Barberena moves to 11-3; Northcutt falls to 7-1.
More from Fight Night New Jersey: Full results | Post-fight bonus recap | Johnson makes quick work of Bader | Rothwell, Rivera earn wins | Barberena hands Northcutt first professional loss | Saffiedine, Ferreira and Natal among winners at Fight Night New Jersey prelims | Randy Brown wins in his UFC debut | Backstage interviews: Anthony Johnson, Ben Rothwell, Jimmie Rivera, Bryan Barberena, Tarec Saffiedine, Rafael Natal, Alexander Yakolev | Octagon interviews: Anthony Johnson, Ben Rothwell, Bryan Barberena, Randy Brown | Best images from New Jersey