UFC heavyweight Soa Palelei was looking to make amends at Fight Night 33 in Australia, for what was a heavily criticized performance at UFC 164. Even though he stopped Nikita Krylov in the final round of their fight in Milwaukee, the effort of both men was harshly condemned by President Dana White. “The Hulk” figured he’d get the chance to up his stock against fan-favourite Pat Barry. “HD” has always had an approach of finish or be finished, and that came back to haunt him in Brisbane.
Palelei played it smart by not engaging in a striking competition with Barry, who has brutal leg-kicks and powerful punches. Palelei was able to put his grappling skills to good use, as he scored a takedown while Barry looked to land a big knee. Palelei would take control from the top position and finished Barry with a brutal flurry via ground and pound to finish the fight at 2:09 of the first round.
Palelei, who fights out of Perth, improved to 20-3 with the victory and was obviously stoked to get the victory in front of the Australian crowd. He’s now recorded 16 knockouts along with four submissions and is now 2-0 in his latest stint with the promotion. Palelei has reeled off 10 consecutive victories overall. Barry’s stock has now slipped considerably, as he is just 2-5 in his last seven fights and has now been stopped in the first round in his last two efforts.
While Palelei is likely to get a step-up in competition, it will be interesting to see if the struggling Barry will still have a future with the organization.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.