28-Year-Old UFC Lightweight 15-3-1
January 20, 2018 Enrique Barzola News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Barzola defeated Matt Bessette via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 220 on Saturday in Boston.
That should actually read "Barzola's takedowns defeated Bessette via unanimous decision." Although he didn't do a whole heck of a lot with his positional advantages, Barzola's five successful takedowns allowed him to easily grind out a victory over the debuting Bessette. The 28-year-old Barzola has quietly produced a 4-1 record in his first five UFC bout. There is no reason to believe that he has the potential to defeat any top-15 fighters in the UFC's featherweight division, but Barzola's early run with the company has gone far better than many people expected.
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Fantasy AnalysisBarzola will enter this bout a winner of two straight after defeating Chris Avila, and most recently Gabriel Benitez. The 28-year-old bested Benitez in May of 2017 via unanimous decision, and will look to make it three in a row against "The Mangler." This will mark Bessette's first appearance in the Octagon, following a performance against Kurt Holobaugh that resulted in a no-contest during Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series in July. Prior to that fight, he had won seven straight contests.
Fantasy AnalysisWhen all else failed, Barzola leaned on his biggest strength - his wrestling game. He was credited with nine successful takedowns against Benitez after scoring on seven of them in his previous fight against Chris Avila in November. There isn't much else to like about Barzola's game, but he has the ability to grind out decisions as he showed on Saturday.
Fantasy AnalysisBarzola was facing one of the worst fighters on the roster, so not too much can be made of his performance, but it was a dominant effort against an overmatched Avila. Barzola won the total strike battle by a count of 129-41 and he also landed an insane 7/12 takedown attempts. It's going to be more difficult for Barzola next time out no matter who he faces, but he looked like a stud on Saturday.
Fantasy AnalysisWhile it wasn't a slam dunk, Barzola appeared to win this fight fairly easily. He was the far better fighter over the first few minutes of the bout, and while Bochniak scored with plenty of leg kicks, Barzola did a nice job of regaining the momentum whenever things seemed to be getting out of hand. Again, while it was a competitive bout, Barzola appeared to get the short end of the stick here. He suffers his first UFC loss after winning his debut against Horacio Gutierrez in November at the TUF: Latin America finale.
Fantasy AnalysisAnd it wasn't even close. Barzola racked up nearly two full rounds worth of top position time and was never really threatened in the bout. Barzola went off as a +175 underdog, but he dominated the bout from start to finish. Considering guys fight in the wrong weight class and against poor competition on TUF, it's hard to gauge much about Barzola's future from this performance.