UFC on Fox 13 Newcomer Breakdown: Bryan Barberena

Bryan-BarberenaPrior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at lightweight Bryan Barberena as he takes on fellow American Joe Ellenberger at UFC on Fox 13.   Bryan “Bam Bam” Barberena Hometown: Minnesota Age: 25 Height: 6’0” Reach: 72” Weight class: Lightweight Camp: MMA Lab Career Record: 9-2 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None   Background The 25-year old lightweight has fought mainly in Dakota FC before moving on to King of the Cage where he was the champion prior to his signing with the UFC. He has fought mainly regional veterans, but has no truly noteworthy victories. Of his nine wins, seven of them are by knockout.   Strengths

  • Trains with a solid camp in MMA Lab (led by Benson Henderson)
  • At his best in the clinch working in knee strikes
  • Good use of elbows in short range situations
  • When in top control, he does fairly well to control positions
  • Large for the weightclass; has fought as high as middleweight in the past


  • Comes from a kickboxing background, but isn’t too skilled in the area
  • Does not check leg kicks
  • Susceptible to losing positions to superior grapplers
  • Too willing to be pushed against the cage and fight with back against it

  00BarberenaGrade   Matchup with Joe Ellenberger It’s difficult to be confident on either fighter in this matchup given that there is very little video on Barberena available. It is clear though that Ellenberger is the superior grappler and will certainly be looking to take the fight to the ground and control Barberena there. The MMA Lab product is the vastly larger fighter in this matchup and will be looking to keep this standing where he will have an advantage on the feet. Barberena will have success in clinch situations and could hurt Ellenberger with elbow/knee strikes. However, it is the top control ability of Ellenberger which should be the difference in this fight. Barberena’s preference to work in the clinch should play into Ellenberger’s desire to take the fight to the ground and score a decision win. Ellenberger will likely be favored in this matchup, but it’s not a slam dunk.   UFC Ceiling Barberena is only 25 years of age and moving to MMA Lab should see him increase his skill set. He’s a large fighter for the weight class and his experience up at middleweight and most recently welterweight should make him believe he can compete in the UFC. His striking will need to improve for him to having staying power in the UFC, but his size and rugged size will make him a tough opponent at the lower levels of the lightweight division.   Fight Film Check out Bryan Barberena in some of his recent fights: Bryan Barberena vs. Dane Sayers  

Written by Jay Primetown

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