Chris Barnett made quite a few new fans with his performance on Saturday night at UFC 268.
Taking on Gian Villante in his home state in what was already announced as the final fight of his career, Barnett uncorked a spectacular spinning wheelkick that earned him a highlight reel knockout.
It was a stunning finish after Barnett had been chipping away at Villante with kicks all night long and then he launched the spin move that put Villante down and out. The end came at 2:23 in the second round.
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“My f*cking heel is killing me,” Barnett said after landing the kick on Villante’s head. “My foot is on fire right now. That’s taekwondo 101 right there.”
Barnett was throwing a kick heavy attack all night long as he kept chopping away at Villante’s lead leg and then going back to the body as well. By the end of the first round, Villante’s midsection and his leg were both deep shades of red from all the punishment he was absorbing.
Throughout the fight, Barnett kept looking for a spin move and when he finally saw an opening, he launched into the kick that blasted Villante in the head and sent him crashing to the canvas. Barnett followed up with a flurry of strikes on the ground until the referee stopped the contest.
Afterwards, Barnett did very little celebrating but instead insisted on Villante receiving a raucous ovation from the Madison Square Garden audience for the last fight of his fight career.
“I don’t want to take this moment right here,” Barnett shouted while touting Villante in the cage. “This is his town, this is his place. Cheer for my man.”
In a night filled with big fights, Barnett certainly did his part to stand out with that knockout while Villante retires from his fight career with a 17-14 record overall.