BAMMA 14 PLAY: Colin “Freakshow” Fletcher (-130) vs Mansour “Tarzan” Barnaoui (-110)

Mansour BarnBAMMA 14 Date: December 14, 2013 Arena: LG Arena City: Birmingham, England, UK Lightweight title bout: Colin “Freakshow” Fletcher (-130) vs Mansour “Tarzan” Barnaoui (-110) Fight Breakdown: The co-main event for BAMMA 14 will be a scrap for the promotions lightweight title, when BAMMA and UFC veteran Colin “Freakshow” Fletcher takes on newly crowned champion, Mansour “Tarzan” Barnaou in the Frenchman’s first title defense. The odds are currently at a near coin-flip, with Fletcher being -130 ($130 to win $100), and Barnaoui being -110 ($110 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. COLIN “FREAKSHOW” FLETCHER (9-3 MMA, 3-0 BAMMA) was successful in his return to BAMMA three months ago with a unanimous decision victory over Tim Newman. That snapped a two-fight losing streak that resulted in his being released from the UFC. The victory over Newman earned him a shot at Mansour Barnaoui and his lightweight title. Now, back in the win column, he looks to make it two in a row, and get the BAMMA lightweight gold around his waist. “Freakshow” was a contestant on the TUF Smashes reality television series, where he went to the finals, and lost a decision to teammate Norman Parke. Following the loss, he was paired up against Mike Ricci, another TUF finalist who lost in the finale. Many fans believed Fletcher was being thrown to the sharks. He held his own against Ricci in the Canadian’s own backyard, but ultimately came up short in another decision loss. After back-to-back losses, he was released, something “Freakshow” believes was unjust. Fans tend to agree, as he was outmatched against Parke, and then again by Ricci. It did not make sense to give him Ricci after the fight against Parke, unless they really wanted to let him go. Fletcher is a talented striker who puts on exciting performances. He has poor takedown defense, but a very good submission game. In fact, seven of his nine professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of submission. He is generally well-conditioned for three round affairs, but I can’t say the same for a five round fight, but I don’t think he will have too big of a problem in that department. He is a fighter with a ton of heart who will fight on ‘til the final bell, even through punishment and fatigue. MANSOUR “TARZAN” BARNAOUI (10-2 MMA, 1-0 BAMMA) is making his return to the BAMMA cage, following a title fight in his promotional debut at BAMMA 13 three months ago, where he secured a first round TKO stoppage of UFC veteran Curt Warburton. The victory came just three weeks after he won another fight at an M1 event, beating Zulfikar Usmanov by rear naked choke submission in the third round of action. After defeating Usmanov, he stepped in on short notice to replace an injured Jake Murphy, and went on to defeat Warburton, and win the vacant BAMMA lightweight title. Barnaoui is a talented striker who packs a lot of power behind everything he throws. He delivers knees that do a lot of damage, especially from inside the clinch. He works solid takedowns, and his transitions are excellent; he is very good at taking the backs of his opponents. Barnaoui’s offensive grappling is solid. He’s very dominant from top position, where he likes to work his powerful ground and pound. “Tarzan” does not have great takedown defense, but he has been showing improvements in that department. His defensive grappling isn’t bad, as he has solid submission defense, great reversals, and is good at getting back to his feet. His defensive grappling can’t be written off, it just needs improvement, specifically with his takedown defense. I say that because the only two defeats on his eleven professional mixed martial arts career resume were decisions he lost because his opponents would win rounds by scoring takedowns, even though he was beating them up on the feet. The 20-year old Frenchman has a great chin, and loves to stand and bang. He works very well from inside the clinch and up against the cage. “Tarzan” generally has great conditioning, and should be in shape for a five round fight, should it go the distance. Fight Prediction: Simply put, I think “Tarzan” will outstrike “Freakshow” on the feet, as well as take him down, and get his ground and pound in while avoiding submission trouble. I think he will do enough to win at least three rounds on the judges’ scorecards, but I would not be surprised if he gets a 50-45 sweep. Gabe’s Pick: Mansour Barnaoui by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 48-47, 49-46) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Mansour Barnaoui (-110) 3.3u to win 3u

Written by Gabe Killian

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