Barnett forces Arlovski to submit in Hamburg

In an intense battle of two heavyweight champions, it was Josh Barnett who got the better of Andrei Arlovski via third-round submission.

The pair gave the crowd at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg their money’s worth, trading big blows from the outset.

Arlovski had a bloodied forehead midway through the first round as both men found their target with some big blows.

In between two clinches early in the second round, another fierce exchange of fire lit up the Octagon. Arlovski was initially the stronger on the mat before Barnett turned the tide, with Arlovski forced to see off a barrage of ground strokes late on.

It was Arlovski who had the best of the early running in the third round, landing some solid strikes – and an inadvertent eye poke – but Barnett rallied to lock Arlovski on the ground. Barnett sunk in a rear naked choke that forced the tap out from Arlovski with 2:53 on the clock in round three.

“Give me an opportunity, give me a limb — I’ll take it home,” Barnett said after the fight. “I wanted that arm real bad, that double wristlock, but I bailed on it. Went to the strike and in turn gave him that short choke.”