UFC Fight Night 41 Play: Luke “Big Slow” Barnatt (-210) vs Sean “Tarzan” Strickland (+175)

SeanStricklandUFC Fight Night 41 Date: May 31, 2014 Arena: O2 World Berlin City: Berlin, Germany Middleweight bout: Luke “Big Slow” Barnatt (-210) vs Sean “Tarzan” Strickland (+175) Fight Breakdown: The main card for UFC Fight Night 41 on UFC Fight Pass will feature a scrap between a pair of undefeated middleweights and somebody’s ‘O’ has got to go! Action and excitement are expected when Luke “Big Slow” Barnatt takes on Sean “Tarzan” Strickland. Barnatt Is the favorite in this contest at -210 ($210 to win $100), while Strickland Is a +175 ($100 to win $175) underdog at Several Bookmakerss. Luke “Big Slow” Barnatt (8-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is coming off a first round TKO of Mats Nilsson just two months ago, which follows a second round rear naked choke submission of Andrew Craig. He is now 3-0 inside the Octagon and looking to go 4-0 with a quick turnaround here. Barnatt is a definite finisher, having six finishes in eight professional mixed martial arts bouts. Three of them have been knockouts and three were submissions, but the submissions came after he hurt his opponents with his limbs, at which point he secured his chokes. The Brit has good footwork and moves around the cage really well. He puts together excellent combinations on the feet and works well inside the clinch as well, preferring to use vicious knees and elbows to hurt his opponents. The 26-year old has good takedown defense, and when taken down, is capable of holding his own on the mat. Splitting training time between the Tsunami Gym in his hometown of Cambridge, England and Team Quest in Portland, OR with Chael Sonnen, Barnatt has been showing major improvements in his game fight to fight, and I expect his cardio to be in top-shape for a 15 minute fight as he gets set to take on the Riverside, CA native in Strickland. Sean “Tarzan” Strickland (14-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is coming off a first round rear naked choke submission victory over Robert “Bubba” McDaniel at UFC 171 just over two months ago. He made his debut on short notice, replacing an injured Tor Troeng and made noise with a dominant performance, enough to earn a step up in a quick turnaround against The Ultimate Fighter season 18 veteran in Barnatt. “Tarzan” works a solid jab, which seems to be his weapon of choice on the feet, and he uses strikes to set up his takedowns really well. He has a nice left hook and works excellent takedowns. The 23-year old is good at using his distance on the feet, and he likes to be technical. He is a smart fighter who game-plans well for his fights. Strickland does not rush in the cage; he is patient and takes his time to look for openings while scoring points. He possesses serious power in his hands, owning seven of 14 professional mixed martial arts victories by way of T/KO. He puts opponents away both on the feet and with his dangerous ground and pound, which we got to see a sample of in the McDaniel fight, before he locked up the rear naked choke to earn the quick tap. The 23-year old has a nice left hook, and he works takedowns pretty well. He is very effective from top position, both with his strikes and grappling. He has a solid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game, so he is also a threat with his submissions when the fight hits the mat. The King of the Cage veteran’s cardio is questionable, but I think he will have enough in the tank for three rounds against Barnatt, should the fight go the distance. Gabe’s Prediction: I am a believer in the 23-year old Strickland and believe he has a real future inside the Octagon. Barnatt is another middleweight with a bright future, and both fighters are well-rounded and very talented, so this makes for an excellent match-up, and also a competitive one. I think it will be competitive, but I favor Strickland to get to better of the Brit, so getting him as a +175 underdog makes me like him for a bet. Gabe’s Call: “Tarzan” by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Sean Strickland (+175) 2u to win 3.5u

Written by Gabe Killian

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