UFC 125 Preview: The Prelims

Baroni vs. Tavares

By Jason Probst Dec 30, 2010
Phil Baroni | Jim Page/Sherdog.com



Middleweights
Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares


The Matchup: Young buck versus veteran warhorse; you’ve gotta love it. Baroni brings it every time, but the flip side is that his stamina often betrays him. He can still hit hard and is exceptionally strong early in fights. Going back to 185 pounds is a great move for him, too, as the weight cut to 170 worked against him.

Tavares absolutely has to take this one with a careful approach and play the clock while limiting early exchanges. At some point, he will switch gears, feel confident that Baroni is decelerating and hit the gas, either scoring a takedown or landing something substantial on the feet. We are going to find out in this bout what kind of artillery Tavares can absorb. Don’t blink, as Baroni will clearly find himself on the chopping block if he loses, which leaves the “New York Bad Ass” desperate and even more dangerous.

The Pick: Baroni is still game and durable even when he can barely hold his hands up to defend himself, but we will go with youth and potential here. Unless Tavares makes an epic mistake on the feet early, he should be able to push the fight to that middle point where Baroni tends to press hard for everything and run himself low on gas.

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