The 2013 version of Kalib Starnes is angry, and rightfully so.
The mere mention of his name and most fans only recall that fateful night in Montreal at UFC 83. A collection of injuries and unfortunate circumstances left Starnes unable to do much against opponent Nate Quarry.
The fight has become almost mythical in a sense. It’s the butt of jokes, and has become the most prominent example of a pathetic bout.
It’s left Starnes with a violent side, a constant need to prove he’s better than that one night.
As Starnes walked towards the cage Friday night in Penticton, it was quickly clear he was not in a good mood. And although I didn’t ask him specifically, something tells me this wasn’t something new.
It was an intensity rarely seen, even in the world of mixed martial arts. His eyes were set straight ahead on the cage.
Clay Davidson would have preferred the old version of Starnes.
From the opening bell until the bout’s conclusion, only 1:21 into the first round, it was reminiscent of a lion playing with its prey. Starnes used a stiff jab to stun his opponent, before dropping him with a vicious body shot and following up with ground and pound for the win.
Starnes made him pay for even thinking he belonged in the same cage. It almost seemed like a sense of relief when the bout concluded. He circled like a caged animal and roared, proud of the work he had done, almost seeming ready for another feeding.
The final chapter of Starnes’ career has yet to be written, and if Friday night is any indication, the story is far from over.
Guest post written by Shawn W. Smith. Follow him on Twitter @Shawn_W_Smith
(ARNOLD LIM, Arnold Lim Photography)