One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 57 is a three-round middleweight bout between Luke Barnatt and Roger Narvaez. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Barnatt is a -330 favorite (bet $330 to win $100) while Narvaez is a +270 underdog (bet $100 to win $270). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Barnatt at -315 and Narvaez at +235, and the bettors are on the favorite Barnatt so far. I agree with the action in Barnatt’s favor as I believe he will win this fight. Here’s why. Barnatt (8-1) was a cast member on TUF 17 where he defeated Gilbert Smith via flying knee KO before losing by KO himself to Dylan Andrews. However, the 26-year-old Englishman has improved a lot since the show, and is so far 3-1 in the UFC with wins over Collin Hart, Mats Nilsson and Andrew Craig and a disputed decision loss to Sean Strickland. Barnatt is one of the tallest fighters in the UFC at 6’6″, and easily the tallest middleweight. He uses his range and reach very well in his fights, constantly using his jab and teeps to keep his opponent at range where he can hit them with power shots. His last fight against Strickland was disappointing for sure, but he still arguably deserved to win. With his improvements in his takedown defence and striking, Barnatt is going to be a hard guy to deal with for the other middleweights in the division. He recently moved his camp to San Diego to train at Alliance MMA, and with improved wrestling working with Phil Davis, I think Barnatt is going to be a tough guy to beat going forward. Narvaez (6-1) made his UFC debut on short notice at 205lbs, getting demolished by Pat Cummins. He has since dropped down to 185lbs, and the 31-year-old American should look better at the weight. He showed prior to the UFC during his Legacy FC run that he is a big, strong guy with finishing ability, and although he didn’t show anything against Cummins, I believe that was just a bad matchup for him due to Cummins’ wrestling. Having said that, he will need to show improvements in his offensive wrestling to get Barnatt to the ground where he will try to use his lethal submission game. I think that will be hard to do, however, and so does the betting public, and if this fight stays standing Narvaez will be at a severe striking disadvantage, which is why he is such a big dog here. Narvaez may attempt some takedowns in the first round, and he could get Barnatt on his back, but I think Barnatt is good enough to thwart any submission attempts and get the fight back on the feet. And on the feet, Barnatt is so much better than Narvaez. He is taller and longer, and I think he’ll use his jab and push kicks, plus his superior cardio, to keep Narvaez at a distance and outpoint him en route to a decision victory, or possibly even score a T/KO. I like Barnatt in this matchup a lot, and at -315 I think he’s worth putting into a parlay.