Pat Barry has been finished in each of his last two outings. | Photo: Sherdog.com
Christian Morecraft (7-2, 1-2 UFC) vs. Pat Barry (6-4, 3-4 UFC)
The Matchup: This is a battle of heavyweights with plenty of aggression to spare, and the loser risks earning a pink slip from his employer. Barry has excellent kickboxing skills and a fearless attitude when it comes to taking on larger heavyweights; at 5-foot-11, it is a disadvantage to which he has become accustomed. The reach disparity did not prevent him from attacking Stefan Struve at UFC Live 6, but, ultimately, the Dutchman’s long limbs allowed him to secure a submission from which Barry could not escape.
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Morecraft presents another tall test, only with a less extensive skill set than Struve. The Team Bombsquad representative struggled with the superior hand speed and power of Matt Mitrione at UFC Live 4, while Struve was able to soften him up with combinations in his Octagon debut in 2010. Morecraft will provide another substantial target for Barry, who will look to capitalize by unleashing his powerful leg kicks. “HD” will not hesitate to stand in the pocket and trade, especially since Morecraft does not possess the skill and technique to match him on the feet.
The most obvious area of disadvantage for Barry is the ground game. In his brief career, Morecraft has been active in hunting for submissions, and, if he can get his opponent to the canvas, Barry is certainly susceptible to getting tapped. While not a great wrestler, Morecraft can also impose his will with offense from top position. An effective attack there is his best chance to beat Barry. In his lone UFC win, Morecraft swept into Sean McCorkle’s guard and hammered him with strikes from above, knocking out his opponent’s mouthpiece en route to a second-round submission triumph.
The Pick: Barry is dangerous enough to have had Cheick Kongo out on his feet, and Morecraft is not on that level. The Plymouth, Mass., native is going to find it difficult to close distance against Barry when the kickboxer is starching him with leg kicks. The bout will begin quickly, as both men will attack with bad intentions. Morecraft will not be able to stop Barry’s offense, however, and he will eventually succumb to strikes in the third round.
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