Saturday night marks the third time that the UFC will broadcast on Fox Nationally with the UFC on FOX 3. We’ve already looked at the main event, so today this time; we’re going to look at the heavyweight slugfest on the card. There are few fights in this sport where you know beforehand what you’re going to get. This time, you know. When Barry and Johnson step into the cage, two men will slug it out until one man is separated from his consciousness.
Pat Barry is one of the few fighters in the UFC than can legitimately boast having K1 level striking. Usually anyone who has heavy hands or throws a decent jab gets labeled K1 level by Goldie, but Barry has the credentials to support the claim. He competed in three K1 kickboxing tournaments that included a knockout finish over Gary Goodridge in just over a minute. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict his style this Saturday night. Barry is going to try and get inside and do heavy damage with punches and more importantly, utilize his legendary leg kicks to chop down his opponent.
Since joining the UFC, Barry has an up and down record of 4-4 and a victory here is mandatory for him to continue living his dream inside the Octagon one would have to believe. In order for him to have a successful Saturday night, here’s what he has to do. First and foremost, utilize the leg kicks. He has savage kicks and will again be facing a height and reach disadvantage against Johnson. He’s giving up five inches in height and nearly seven in reach, so his leg kicks are the most important aspect of his offense. He can use them to slow Lavar Johnson down, get inside and deliver his powerful striking. If he’s unable to get inside, it could be a long night for Barry, or more succinctly, a short night.
Lavar Johnson is a heavy handed boxer out of American Kickboxing Academy. He made his UFC debut on the UFC on Fox 2 event and won knockout of the night for finishing Joey Beltran in the first round of their clash. However, he did lose his prior two fights by submission in Strikeforce, but shouldn’t be too concerned with submissions against Barry. That’s not to say Barry can’t take him down and submit him, but rather he’ll likely find a willing partner to engage in a standup war. People, who have chosen to go that route with Lavar, have done so at their own peril. Lavar has 16 wins as a professional fighter and 14 of those have come by knockout. His other two wins were by submission, and one of those was to strikes. So it’s safe to say that Lavar knows how to finish the show.
For Lavar to do so Saturday night here’s what has to happen. Lavar Johnson needs to check some leg kicks. To say Barry has destructive leg kicks is putting it mildly. He can and will chop Lavar down if he doesn’t check some of them. You can’t train to fight Barry and not work on checking leg kicks, so hopefully for Johnson, he’ll be able to avoid some damage there. He’s also going to have to punch in combinations. When you have a seven inch reach advantage, throwing single shots makes no sense. You have to throw combos so your opponent can’t just dodge a shot and close the distance. Lavar should keep him away with the jab, and one-two and look to land heavy shots when Barry is off balance or trying to get in close. If he does those things, he should move to 2-0 in the UFC and possibly put a KO of the Night check in his back pocket.
This is going to be a great fight. These guys will stand and trade and likely one will fall down. Which guy falls will have to do with who is more successful in plying their gameplan. Check out Josh’s picks for who wins at http://mmavalor.com/2012/05/03/ufc-on-fox-3-bold-predictions/