It seems that the only people that are happy with the first fight pick were Team Sonnen. Team Jones’ Gilbert Smith, (5’9”) versus Team Sonnen’s Luke Barnatt (6’6”) pits one of the shortest fighters of the season against the tallest fighter of the season. Giving up a significant reach advantage to a good striker is not the best way to start off the season. Especially when you have the control of the picks!
Gerald Smith, feeling the pressure of being first to fight and missing his family back home in Colorado, is found crying in the backyard of the fighter house over his Colorado State flag. The flag in question had words of encouragement written from his family and friends. This caused Team Jones members voice their frustration to the 1 on 1 interview cameras. They feel like the best interest of the team has not been taken by their coaching staff and feel that it is necessary to ambush Smith in the locker room to tell them how they feel. Jon Jones entered the locker room to break up the ambush and voices to the team that he has all the confidence in Smith and that’s why he made the pick as they have.
Luke Barnatt hails from Cambridge, England. He is the son of a hippie and a Jehovah’s Witness so his parents understand Luke’s need to follow his dream. He has given up his job as a to pursue his UFC dreams and train full time.
Gilbert Smith vs. Luke Barnatt
20 seconds into the fight, Smith takes a loud shot to the cup from a Barnatt front kick. Three times Smith grinds Barnatt against the cage and attempts a high-crotch takedown against the cage but is unable to keep Barnatt from standing up. In the last 2 minutes Barnatt establishes his jab and forces Smith to take an outside shot for a single-leg. Barnatt shows a strong sprawl, but Smith is relentless with his takedown. Again, Smith cannot hold Barnatt to the mat. The round ends with a short exchange of punches from the standing position.
Smith shoots again for a single-leg and once again Barnatt shows great takedown defence. More grinding against the fence ensues until Barnatt attempts a standing kimura takedown, but Smith ends up on his back. Barnatt again stands up from a difficult position. Smith decides to use his boxing but is controlled as Barnatt establishes a Thai clinch. His height shows a definite leverage advantage as he is able to control the wrestler. Gilbert decides to pull away from the clinch and predictably shoots for a leg. Luke lands a vicious, perfectly timed knee as Gilbert shoots that rips Gilbert away from consciousness.
Luke Barnatt (Team Sonnen) defeats Gilbert Smith (Team Jones) by KO at 3:14 of round 2.
Uriah Hall (Team Sonnen) vs. Adam Sella (Team Jones)