Home > Event Preview > UFC Live – Kongo vs. Barry Preview

UFC Live – Kongo vs. Barry Preview

The UFC is back on Versus for the fourth UFC Live event.  An originally scheduled main event between Nate Marquardt and Anthony Johnson has seen a number of changes.  Johnson originally pulled out due to injury, while Nate Marquardt failed his prefight physical and will apparently never fight in the UFC again, an incredible turn of events.  Rick Story will now be fighting Charlie Brenneman on the main card of this event.

In what is now the main event for the night, Pat Barry will take on Cheick Kongo in what should be an exciting fight.  Barry and Kongo are both very good strikers, while Kongo excels at fighting dirty.  Pat Barry is a fan favorite and stands to move up in the heavyweight picture with a win tonight.

In other action, Matt Mitrione looks to go 5-0 against Christian Morecraft, and Matt Brown steps in for the injured Martin Kampann to fight the very dangerous John Howard.  Ranked lightweight Nik Lentz is fighting on the undercard, while Tyson Griffin makes his featherweight debut against top ranked Manny Gamburyan in a fight that should definitely be aired as part of the main card.

UFC Live 4 will air live tonight on Versus at 9:00 PM EST/8:00 PM CST, with the preliminary fights airing live on Facebook at 5:55 PM EST/4:55 PM CST.  So we get three hours of preliminary fights and two hours of main card fights?  Five total hours of UFC fights tonight?  That sounds really awesome, though there’s not a lot of specific appeal to watching Edward Faaloloto or Rich Attonito fight.  Still, fights are fights, even if that means I have to watch Nik Lentz.

Heavyweight: Pat Barry (6-2) vs. Cheick Kongo (15-6-2, No. 18 HW)

Barry: K-1 kickboxer who trains at Roufusport in Milwaukee, has perhaps the best kicks of any UFC fighter, five of his six wins have come by (T)KO, 3-2 during his time in the UFC, defeated Dan Evensen with vicious leg kicks in his UFC debut, defeated Joey Beltran by decision at the second UFC Fight for the Troops in January.

Kongo: Another former kickboxer who has nine (T)KO wins in MMA, 8-4-1 in the UFC since his 2006 debut with the promotion, 1-2-1 in his last four fights, fought to a draw with Travis Browne after Kongo had a point deducted due to holding onto Browne’s shorts, is the dirtiest fighter in MMA.

Remarks: Here’s an interesting note: Cheick Kongo will be Barry’s sixth opponent in the UFC, and all of his opponents have been of different ethnicities.

Dan Evensen – Norwegian
Tim Hague – Canadian
Antoni Hardonk – Dutch
Mirko Cro Cop – Croatian
Joey Beltran – American
Cheick Kongo – French

Regarding the fight, I hope Pat Barry pounds Cheick Kongo.  I’ve always disliked Kongo, a notoriously dirty fighter who egregiously breaks the rules whenever he gets a chance.  Against Travis Browne, Kongo should have been docked at least two points for his constant grabbing of Browne’s shorts.  Kongo regularly lands groin shots and grabs his opponents’ shorts in what seems to be every single fight.  I’m not sure what is wrong in this guy’s head where he thinks he can get away with that.

So my hope is that Pat Barry will knock Cheick out.  Forget that Kongo has only been knocked out once in his career, I want to see that happen.  It will be very difficult given Kongo’s significant five inch height advantage, but I will watch this fight with every hope of seeing Cheick Kongo’s head get knocked off his shoulders.  I won’t even venture a rational prediction for this fight as I’m hell bent on seeing Kongo get destroyed.

Welterweight: Rick Story (13-3, No. 10 WW) vs. Charlie Brenneman (13-2)

Story: A former wrestler at Southern Oregon University, uses smothering wrestling and aggressive striking, defeated Thiago Alves by unanimous decision less than one month ago at UFC 130, is now 6-1 in the UFC with the sole loss to John Hathaway in his debut, also holds a 2008 win over Jake Ellenberger for the SportFight promotion, originally a replacement on late notice for Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.

Brenneman: Collegiate wrestler with five career knockout victories, 2-1 in the UFC with the sole loss to Johny Hendricks, last defeated Amilcar Alves by unanimous decision in January 2011, was originally scheduled to fight T.J. Grant before Grant was injured and Nate Marquardt was pulled from this fight, appeared on the ill-conceived Pros vs. Joes TV program.

Remarks: So we originally had Nate Marquardt vs. Anthony Johnson, and this fight was somehow turned into Rick Story vs. Charlie Brenneman?  Man, Rick Story must feel like shit for ending up with this fight on short notice.  Beating Thiago Alves and Nate Marquardt in short order is impressive.  Beating Thiago Alves and Charlie Brenneman in consecutive months is a lot less impressive.  I don’t see any way that Brenneman wins this fight and I’ll give Story the TKO victory.

Welterweight: Matt Brown (11-10) vs. John Howard (14-6)

Brown: Judo brown belt and BJJ blue belt, has finished in all 11 wins with six (T)KO wins and five submission victories, has also been finished in eight of his ten losses, 4-4 in the UFC with three consecutive losses to Brian Foster, Chris Lytle, and Ricardo Almeida, last won a fight against James Wilks at UFC 105 in November 2009, was originally scheduled to fight Rich Attonito on this card.

Howard: Heavy striker with a BJJ purple belt, has six submission wins along with four knockout wins, started his UFC career 4-0 until he lost to Jake Ellenberger and Thiago Alves in consecutive fights, has won Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night awards once each, originally was scheduled to take on Martin Kampmann until the Dane was injured.

Remarks: Loser leaves the UFC match!  And by loser, I mean Matt Brown who is a fight away from being .500 for his career at 11-11.  I think we’ll finally see Howard pull off a submission in the UFC, as he has six in his career prior to joining the promotion.  Howard is a pretty talented guy, but he’s prone to just punching his opponents in the head really hard.  I anticipate Howard adjusting his game plan to Brown, a guy who has been submitted a lot in his career, and scoring the submission win.

Heavyweight: Matt Mitrione (4-0) vs. Christian Morecraft (7-1)

Mitrione: A striker with three of four career wins by knockout, another Roufusport product and a former NFL player, won Fight of the Night against Joey Beltran at one of the worst UFC events in history at UFC 119, last defeated Tim Hague in a very impressive TKO victory at the second UFC Fight for the Troops, beat Kimbo Slice by TKO in Kimbo’s last MMA fight.

Morecraft: A heavy hitter with boxing and Muay Thai experience, also has four career submission victories, that includes a standing guillotine over Sean McCorkle in his last fight, his only career loss came from Stefan Struve via knockout at UFC 117, is a taller heavyweight at 6’6”.

Remarks: I think Morecraft might present some big problems for Mitrione in this fight.  Morecraft is probably the most well-rounded fighter Mitrione has faced, as Joey Beltran and Tim Hague are predominantly strikers who have a tendency to absorb punches.  Mitrione also defeated Kimbo Slice and Marcus Jones, two fairly unremarkable feats.  Morecraft is a pretty tough fighter with good submissions and big strikes.  Mitrione is fast improving and Morecraft will definitely be a big challenge for the former football player.

Still, I think Mitrione is the favorite to take this fight.  Mitrione really leveled Hague with some heavy strikes in his last fight and Roufusport has been pumping out some good fighters, though both Danny Downes and Anthony Pettis took losses at the Ultimate Fighter 13 finale.  I think we’ll see Mitrione score the TKO victory in this fight and move to 5-0 in the UFC heavyweight division.

Lightweight: Joe Lauzon (19-6) vs. Curt Warburton (7-2)

Lauzon: BJJ purple belt with 19 career submission victories, has won Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night awards each three times, 6-3 during his time in the UFC, was last submitted by George Sotiropoulos at UFC 123 in November 2010, knocked out Jens Pulver in his UFC debut.

Warburton: British fighter who currently trains at Wolfslair, holds four career knockout wins, 1-1 in the UFC with a loss to Spencer Fisher, last defeated Maciej Jewtuszko at UFC 127 by unanimous decision, each of his last three fights have gone to a decision, will be making his American debut at this event.

Remarks: Joe Lauzon has done pretty well for himself in the UFC, only having lost to Sotiropoulos, Kenny Florian, and the heavy handed Sam Stout.  Warburton is still young in his MMA career with a 7-2 record dating back to 2007 and I feel like he’s way overmatched here.  Lauzon’s grappling is too strong for Warburton and I think we’ll see Lauzon pull off a submission victory.  Going from Maciej Jewtuszko to Joe Lauzon is just too big of a leap at this point in Warburton’s career.

Lightweight: Nik Lentz (21-3-2, No. 19 LW) vs. Charles Oliveira (14-1)

Lentz: A boring, boring wrestler who competed at the Unviersity of Minnesota, has seven boring knockouts, eight boring submissions, and six super boring decision wins in his career, is a boring 5-0-1 in the UFC, holds boring wins over Carey Vanier and Drew Fickett prior to joining the UFC, has the boring nickname “The Carny”.

Oliveira: BJJ brown belt who has won half of his fights by submission, has started his UFC career 2-1 last losing to Jim Miller at UFC 124, took Submission of the Night awards in fights against Efrain Escudero and Darren Elkins, nicknamed “do Bronx”.

Remarks: I really hope that Nik Lentz loses this fight.  I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it previously, but Lentz is a very boring fighter.  His win over Waylon Lowe at the UFC’s last Fight Night was the first finish he’s had in the UFC against an equally boring wrestler.  Charles Oliveira likes to grapple as well, though his brand of grappling is much more exciting.  He’s pulled off some nice submissions and is a very quick fighter, making him a pretty exciting fighter to watch thus far.  Unfortunately, I think that Lentz’s wrestling will be strong enough to control the fight and earn the decision victory here.

Featherweight: Joe Stevenson (31-13) vs. Javier Vazquez (15-5)

Stevenson: BJJ and judo black beltwith wrestling experience, Ultimate Fighter season two winner, 8-7 in the UFC having lost three consecutive fights to George Sotiropoulos, Mac Danzig, and Danny Castillo, won Fight of the Night honors three times, former number one contender to the UFC Lightweight Title, making his debut at featherweight.

Vazquez: 2nd degree BJJ black belt, has 11 submission wins in his career, former King of the Cage Lightweight Champion, went 2-3 in the WEC with losses to L.C. Davis, Deividas Taurosevicius, and Chad Mendes, has wins over Rumina Sato and Rob Emerson prior to joining the WEC, making his UFC debut, is married to Rorion Gracie’s daughter Rose.

Remarks: This could potentially be a bad matchup for Javier Vazquez in his UFC debut.  Vazquez’s WEC wins were over inferior grapplers in Jens Pulver and Mackens Semerzier.  His losses were to two strong wrestlers (Mendes and Davis) and a Renzo Gracie BJJ practitioner (Taurosevicius).  Stevenson showed us in his war with George Sotiropoulos that his grappling is still very good, but his drop to 145 pounds is a bit of a question mark here.

I’m not sure what it is, but Vazquez’s BJJ has not translated in fighting the upper echelon fighters in MMA.  Stevenson isn’t quite at that level, but he’s still a significant opponent who is threatening when a fight hits the ground.  I’ll take Stevenson to pull out the decision in his featherweight debut.  A loss here would be four in a row for Stevenson, but it may not necessarily lead to him being cut.  A debut at featherweight may have granted Stevenson a stay of execution for the next couple of fights, but I still think he’ll pull out the win here.

Featherweight: Tyson Griffin (14-5, No. 24 LW) vs. Manny Gamburyan (11-5, No. 2 FEW)

Griffin: High school and junior college wrestler, holds five career knockout victories along with three submissions, has won five Fight of the Night awards and one Submission of the Night award, dropping down to featherweight after consecutive losses to Evan Dunham, Takanori Gomi, and Nik Lentz, was 7-2 in the UFC prior to those losses, originally fought at featherweight and has a 2005 win over Urijah Faber.

Gamburyan: BJJ and judo black belt with six career submission wins, lost to Nate Diaz in the finals of the Ultimate Fighter season five, went 2-3 in the UFC as a lightweight before dropping to featherweight, went 3-1 in the WEC with the sole loss to then WEC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo, holds wins over Mike Brown and Leonard Garcia, defeated Jorge Santiago in 2003, cousin of noted addict Karo Parisyan.

Remarks: I think this has the potential to be a really awesome fight.  Gamburyan has had great success at featherweight while Tyson Griffin always puts on exciting fights.  Griffin is in a similar situation as Joe Stevenson in that dropping down to featherweight may have afforded him an extra loss or two at 145 pounds. That’s good for Griffin since I see him losing this fight.  He has good striking and solid wrestling, but I think that Manny’s BJJ and judo will be enough to lead him to a decision victory.  I think this definitely has the potential to be Fight of the Night and I think it will be going Manny Gamburyan’s way.

Welterweight: Daniel Roberts (12-2) vs. Rich Attonito (9-4)

Roberts: BJJ purple belt with collegiate wrestling experience, nine career submission victories, 3-2 in the UFC with a single Submission of the Night award, last lost to Claude Patrick at UFC 129, defeated UFC 4 and UFC 6 competitor Anthony Macias in January 2010, replacing Matt Brown who was called up to the main card to fight John Howard.

Attonito: BJJ purple belt who is a former NCAA Division 1 wrestler at Hofstra, competitor on season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter, 2-1 in the UFC with wins over Jamie Yager and Rafael Natal and a loss to Dave Branch, trains out of American Top Team.

Remarks: I don’t care enough about this fight to write very much, but I’ll take Daniel Roberts by decision.  You can’t trust a guy where a win over Jamie Yager is one of his more notable accomplishments and I don’t trust Rich Attonito.

Featherweight: Matt Grice (13-3) vs. Ricardo Lamas (9-2)

Lightweight: Edward Faaloloto (2-1) vs. Michael Johnson (8-5)

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