Another Heavy weight battle between two men that both need a win to start to make a run for the title.
Japan will see two incredible grapplers and two very good but different strikers. Josh Barnett is coming off some incredibly promising Metamoris performances where he tapped the unstoppable Boogie Man Dean Lister and a High level Gracie in one Ryron Gracie. Hes coming off a KO loss to Travis Browne in the UFC his only fight before that was a dismantling display of striking against Frank Mir which is mired in controversy because of a preserved early stoppage. Outside of that he went the distance with a heavyweight DC while injured so yeah the man can take a beating and give one out. The Baby Faced killer is still that guy, a killer.
For Roy this is a fight that he can prove that he is that damn good still, we know he still has a chin after his one punch KO from Mark Hunt and the beating he took from Overeem. He still has power in his hands and slip and rip style that is rarely stopped, a black belt under Renzo Gracie mean also he’s no novice on the ground. Roy is a top notch fighter on the canvas and standing and banging with a level of cardio that’s very remarkable when you look at him.
Breaking this one down I give the edge to Josh because of the skill level shown in all areas of the MMA game. Josh has high level striking and is always diversifying his stand up, a student of Matt Hume means he has a base that his heads and shoulders above other heavyweights striking. Add on top of that his striking shown in his last fights where he lite Frank Mir (who’s on a tear) on fire is still there. He applies a style of pressure that seems like he can’t maintain, but then you realize this guy can go a solid 20 minutes grappling so striking for 5 minute rounds isn’t going to be too tough. On the ground he’s the best not by assumption but by practice outside of Werdum he’s the top of the field and has the title to go with it so I have to respect that he wins there as well. So on paper Josh looks unbeatable, but we have to factor in the wars his bodies been in and how much he really wants to go through that again. The bouts in Japan where he is a legend and really made a name so that could definitely play in as nostalgic.
For Roy Nelson he’s still high level he didn’t just forget how to grappler or how to uncork his hands on someone’s chin. Keeping that in mind he could still out strike Josh with the hands because of his ability to slip and rip plus he’s constantly doing that he hasn’t taken a huge break. Roy can KO anyone in the division so the power advantage goes to him but the diversity of strikes is very limited but with the tools he uses in his boxing is better than his opponents. On the ground he’s no novice he’s been grappling as long if not longer than Josh but since Josh has the metamoris title you have to think Roy loses there, if he wins by sub that would be crazy.
How this thing plays out is really in my mind a striking battle where depending on who gets hurt first will decide where the fight goes after that. If Josh hurts Roy he takes him down if not KOing him like Frank but that will be hard. Once on the ground Josh works his catch wrestling and bjj to get the sub on start the ground and pound to get the TKO stoppage. If Roy hurts Josh he starches him in my opinion with the overhand, if Josh survives Roy will have to volume punch to get Josh out of there and not allow him to recover or shoot to get the fight to the ground. Really it could go anywhere for either guy this is fighting after all it all comes down to who is better standing and can force the other somewhere they can capitalize either standing or from the top grappling. So yeah another highly interesting heavyweight bout that could shake up the division.
-Stay Chill Family and Folk