UFC fighters come from a slew of backgrounds, but there aren’t very many former football players. Shawn Jordan’s stunning victory against Pat Barry at UFC 161 made us scratch our heads as to why.
Just when the audience thought the two heavyweights were just going to dance around one another round after round, Jordan launched into a series of blows leading to a knockout victory. The whole thing — from the first uppercut to the knockout — took approximately 10 seconds.
It would be hard to really credit Jordan with an “upset” victory: he entered the ring heavier, younger and taller. Barry is a more seasoned fighter but Jordan, however unpolished, was tougher. He held a menacing grin on his face as he circled his opponent before launching in to crush him. He may not have fought with the most refined martial arts moves but he didn’t look like he was in a bar brawl either.
Jordan’s victory was part skill and part brutality. The former comes from his training at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts. The latter can be attributed to his days on the gridiron in college. Why the brute force of a lineman wasn’t coupled with MMA skill set earlier is still unknown, as the marriage of the sports makes for a fine resemblance of a modern-day gladiator.
The UFC Heavyweight class is shaping up to be the height of the octagon for many bouts to come. Jordan’s explosive attack gets us excited about pitting him against Brendan Schaub and Soa Palelei. His display at UFC 161 was the highlight of the night — the kind of highlight that had fans from the bleachers to the bar stools up on their feet with excitement.
Whether or not Jordan is “someone to watch” or not is irrelevant at this point — whenever he fights again, we’re going to be watching.