Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City, New York
To all of you who are talking sh*t about Dan Barrera, shut the hell up. The guy had the balls to step in the cage after getting a call from a freaked out wife. Plenty of fighters dropped out of matches for less (those guys are *****s but it's beside the point).
Dan's performance in the Octagon was alright. I was expecting more from him as far as following up, but he fell into a solid rubber guard on the part of Ben, I think that freaked him out a little, especially after being submitted pretty harshly by Hughes in practice (not exactly a great confidence builder going into a fight).
I'm not going to say that I was impressed with Dan, because I wasn't. From a technical standpoint, his ground game doesn't exist and his head movement is slow and lazy. I was yelling at the screen for him to weave. I'm a short guy and when I'm trying to exchange, I'm always thinking weave in and get close for those quick punches and knees. He also didn't use any leg kicks, and Ben didn't look like he could have handled any, so I thought that might have been a good gameplan.
Ben looked like a solid groundfighter, but realistically, his standup isn't that good. A smart fighter would know to stop his jabs with body kicks and slow him down with leg kicks, then weave inside to mix it up or go for the takedown. The rubberguard he put on Dan looked like it was worked on pretty well, which doesn't surprise me given that he's one of Team Serra's guys, but I didn't think he looked a bit rushed and not too sure about whether he was going for a rubber triangle, a traditional triangle, an omo, a gogo, an inverted armbar or any of the other moves that usually come from a rubber guard. So while the position was solid, he didn't look like he was going to do any damage, which is too bad because if he did, he would have been able to finish that fight when it first hit the ground.
The punches that Barrera landed looked solid, and with his build I expected that. He's definitely got some body substance and, like pretty much every short guy who fights, he turns his hips into his punches. To say he only hit Ben once is just stupid, because he landed a couple of shots, one that looked like it did some serious damage to Ben's nose. That said, he wasn't able to capitalize on the two or three shots that put Ben on his back because he was afraid of that rubber guard. (that was pretty wimpy and showed a lack of understanding for the groundgame)
If Barrera had been as agressive in that fight as the video had shown he is in training, I think he would have pounded out Ben when they first hit the ground, but I don't know if it was a combination of worry about his woman, hand problems, getting whupped by Matt Hughes in training and simply not being very confident or well versed on the ground that led him to not do it.
That said, I think that I can understand Dana sliping Barrera the money for his personal troubles, and I'd be interesting to see if he gets brought back, either for the finale or for the long term, because I think he's got some good potential as a brawler. Hopefully he'll end up somewhere where he can work on his BJJ and wrestling and get comfortable on the ground, as well as work on some boxing. If he does that, then he's got some potential.
The fight was definitely a good solid brawl though, even if I didn't think Ben was that great.
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