In one of the most anticipated cards of the year, UFC 260, Stipe Miocic defends his heavyweight title against Francis Ngannou. However, there are many fights on this card that has the potential to be the fight of the night. And a welterweight bout between Abu Azaitar and Marc Barriault was certainly one of them.
Abu Azaitar was making his Octagon return after a successful UFC debut in 2018. He was up against Marc Barriault who was coming off three consecutive losses and one no contest. But, when the odds were against Barriault he put on one of the best performances of his career.
The fight between these two middleweights was full of action as long as it lasted. The first round was extremely close as both landed an almost equal number of significant strikes. However, as the fight progressed Barriault took over and started landing high volume on Azaitar. And in the third round, Barriault destroyed Azaitar on the ground securing a TKO finish with 4 seconds left on the clock. The fight showed the toughness of Azaitar and also the durability and cardio of Barriault.
The controversial moment in Abu Azaitar vs Marc Barriault
However, a certain moment in the third round left the commentators as well as the fans scratching their heads. Abu Azaitar was clearly gassed and was trying his best to survive when a punch from Barriault knocked out his mouthpiece. As Azaitar was trying to pick up his mouthpiece, Barriault took him down and unloaded some vicious ground and pound to secure the win.
While on the ground, Azaitar complained to the referee as he absorbed a few strikes when he did not have a mouthpiece. Azaitar was heard screaming “this is not right” at the referee. Besides that, it seemed like the referee ran into Azaitar while he was trying to pick up his mouthpiece. Though the stoppage was not a bad one as Azaitar was still trying to protect himself the fight could have been stopped a lot earlier in the final round.
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) March 28, 2021
This moment certainly reminds us of the time when Anderson Silva blasted Michael Bisping with a knee when Bisping was distracted after he dropped his mouthpiece. Fortunately, Barriault was clearly winning the fight in the third round and the confusion with the mouthpiece does not affect the outcome of the fight significantly. However, Azaitar seemed unhappy with this unfortunate incident as he also complained to the referee after the fight.
With this win, Marc Barriault is back on the win column by securing his first UFC win. On the other hand, after a long hiatus, Abu Azaitar secured his first loss in UFC.