UFC Fight Night 66 Fight Breakdown: Luke Barnatt vs. Mark Munoz

luke-barnatt2 One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 66 is a three-round middleweight bout between Luke Barnatt and Mark Munoz. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Barnatt is a -165 favorite (bet $165 to win $100) while Munoz is a +145 underdog (bet $100 to win $145). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Barnatt at -125 and Munoz at -115, and so far action has come in on the favorite Barnatt. I agree with the action coming in on Barnatt as I like him to win this fight. Here’s why. Barnatt (8-2) is 3-2 in the UFC with wins over Andrew Craig, Mats Nilsson and Colin Hart and losses to Roger Narvaez and Sean Strickland. The 27-year-old Brit appeared on TUF 17, where he wet 2-1 with wins over Gilbert Smith and Nicholas Kohring and a loss to Dylan Andrews. Barnatt is 6’6″ and is one of the tallest middleweights in the organization. He has an extremely long reach and generally uses it well. Barnatt has underrated power in all of his limbs as well as underrated submissions on the mat. If there’s any knock against Barnatt it’s his inability to stay active at times, and his chin is a bit iffy as well. But overall he’s a solid, young, and improving middleweight, and getting the opportunity to fight an aging vet on the decline like Munoz, this is a great opportunity for Barnatt to snap his win streak and get back in the win column. Munoz (13-6) was once of of the top middleweights in the sport but has since fallen on hard times. The 37-year-old Filipino-American is overall 8-6 in the UFC, which isn’t a bad record, but as of late he’s looked absolutely awful, losing his last three in a row and four of his last five fights — all by stoppage. In fact, since 2011 Munoz only has one win, against Tim Boetsch. He’s lost every other fight he’s had since then, including an upset submission defeat to Roan Carneiro in his last outing. Once known for his tenacious wrestling and ferocious ground and pound, Munoz hasn’t shown any of that in a long time. He never had the best chin, but it appears to have gotten worse in recent outings, and at 37 years old it’s clear the clock is ticking on his career. Munoz is a great guy and the UFC should hire him to be an ambassador for their future trips to Asia, but as a fighter he’s very much over the hill and if he loses to Barnatt like I expect him to, that will likely spell the end to his solid UFC career. I really like Barnatt in this fight. I like Munoz as a person, and at one point a few years ago he was a top middleweight, but he’s fallen off drastically and appears to be completely shot as a fighter at this point. He is coming off of three-straight stoppage losses and has been stopped in four of his last five outings inside the Octagon, which is a huge red flag. I don’t know why he is choosing to keep fighting in this first place, but to make matters worse this is just a bad matchup for him. Barnatt is younger, taller, stronger, hits harder and has better submissions. Munoz’ only advantage in this fight is in the wrestling department, but even his wrestling skills have eroded in recent years. I just don’t see how he wins this fight. I think Barnatt catches him with either strikes or a submission and finished him. At the current price, Barnatt is well worth a bet as this is a classic fade situation on Munoz. I think Barnatt is very likely to get a finish here, as well, so look for the props on Barnatt inside the distance as those could provide even better odds for the Englishman to get the job done here.

Written by Adam Martin.

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