Bryan Barberena

Bam Bam

USA

Meerschaert collision on tap
MiddleweightUFC
January 23, 2024
Barberena is scheduled to compete against Gerald Meerschaert in a middleweight fight at the UFC's Vegas event on March 16, per Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com.
ANALYSIS
Barberena will look to snap his three-fight losing streak in 2024. He had a chance to prevent the creation of said streak and its continued nature in 2023, but suffered losses to Gunnar Nelson and Makhmud Muradov instead. Like him, Meerschaert also went 0-2 that year.
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Losing streak hits three
MiddleweightUFC
July 22, 2023
Barberena lost to Makhmud Muradov via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in London.
ANALYSIS
Entering as the second-largest underdog on the card at +275, Barberena was dominated from bell to bell. He allowed 13 takedowns on 16 Muradov attempts. That is not a misprint. "Bam Bam" did a pretty nice job of not getting pinned to the mat for long stretches at a time, allowing just 5:10 worth of control time, but it's literally impossible to win a three-round decision when you're being dragged to the mat every two seconds. Barberena's record has never been great, but he's always been more competitive than we have seen in his past few fights. Now 34 years of age and a loser of three straight, Bryan's time with the company could easily be coming to an end.
Muradov fight scheduled
MiddleweightUFC
May 14, 2023
Barberena will fight Makhmud Muradov in a middleweight bout at UFC London on July 22, according to Marcel Dorff of Eurosport.nl.
ANALYSIS
After submitting to Rafael dos Anjos and Gunnar Nelson across his last two fights, Barberena will try to redeem himself against Muradov at London. He is also fighting off back-to-back losses. And unlike RDA or Nelson, Muradov is not a submission specialist either.
Overwhelmed by Gunnar Nelson
MiddleweightUFC
March 18, 2023
Barberena lost to Gunnar Nelson via submission (armbar) at 4:51 of Round 1 at UFC 286 on Saturday in London.
ANALYSIS
This fight appeared to be a worse-case scenario for Barberena from a technical standpoint and that proved to be exactly the case. Bryan is still competitive in reckless brawls against lesser competition, but he never had a chance in a bout against one of the best pound-for-pound grapplers in the history of the sport. Barberena remained upright for a handful of minutes before Nelson grabbed him and slammed him to the mat. It was academic from there. The likes of Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler -- two fighters Barberena recently defeated -- are the type of matchups he should be targeting these days. Bryan has lost two in a row on the heels of a three-fight winning streak.
Stepping in at UFC 286
MiddleweightUFC
February 23, 2023
Barberena is set to fight fellow welterweight Gunnar Nelson at UFC 286 on March 18 after Daniel Rodriguez (undisclosed) was pulled from the bout Thursday, Marcel Dorff of Eurosport.nl reports.
ANALYSIS
Barberena will step in with just under one month's notice, marking his first fight since losing to Rafael dos Anjos via rear naked choke submission Dec. 3. The 33-year-old won each of his previous three matchups, including a win by split decision against Matt Brown last March followed by a standing TKO via punches over Robbie Lawler in July. Barberena will now face an opponent in Nelson who has gone 2-2 in the UFC dating back to 2018. The 34-year-old from Reykjavik, Iceland stands just one inch shorter than the 6-foot Barberena, though both fighters boast an identical 72-inch wingspan.
Win streak snapped at three
MiddleweightUFC
December 3, 2022
Barberena lost to Rafael dos Anjos via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:20 of Round 2 at UFC on ESPN 42 on Saturday in Orlando.
ANALYSIS
This was not a fight that played to Barberena's strengths, which is why he found himself a +400 underdog. Bryan is primarily a one-dimensional brawler. A tough one, but a brawler nonetheless. It was expected that he would struggle with the grappling game of dos Anjos despite being the bigger man, and that ended being exactly the case and the reason why he lost. He allowed RDA to connect on 4-of-6 takedown attempts and wasn't the least bit competitive the second he found himself on the mat. "Bam Bam" entered having one three straight, so is roster spot is extremely secure, but he has a long history of struggling against better competition, and this was the latest example of that.