Opinion: Which Pat Barry Will Show up Against Soa Palelei?
By Michael Hatamoto
UFC heavyweight Pat Barry will meet Soa Palelei, in what should be a clash of two heavy-handed fighters, looking to engage on the feet until only one man is left standing.
For better or worse, Barry wants to get into the cage and kick and punch his opponents as hard as he can for three rounds. That hasn’t worked for him the past few years, as he is just 3-4 since the start of 2011, and was finished in all four losses.
Meanwhile, Palelei is 19-3 overall with all 19 victories coming by way of KO/TKO or submission – and he won his UFC debut in August, by beating Nikita Krylov by TKO at UFC 164. It was a very underwhelming fight, despite the finish, because Palelei was suffering from an ‘excruciating’ cracked rib injury that happened one week before the fight.
Despite his strong record, Barry is going to prove to be a tough challenge, and we will see if the 35-year-old Australian can use Barry as a stepping stone to climb up the ranks.
As much as I like Barry and his striking, I think this is Palelei’s fight to lose, as he has heavy hands, a size advantage, and a better ground game. Barry switched things up and is training in Colorado, which should help his cardio a bit, but I think Barry won’t follow a smart game plan – and Palelei will be able to land heavy shots.
If it doesn’t stay on the feet, expect to see Palelei to control the fight while Barry tries to get off his back. Ultimately, I believe Palelei will make it two straight wins inside the octagon, finishing Barry sometime in the third round.
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