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Posted on September 30, 2011 by John Petit

Breaking Down UFC On Versus 6: Cruz Vs. Johnson, Barry Vs. Struve
Bantamweight Championship:
Dominick Cruz (Champion) vs.  Demetrious Johnson (Challenger)

Dominick Cruz (Champion)
89% Fights Won
29% Striking Accuracy
57% Takedown Accuracy

Odds: -425
Reach: 68 in
Record: 18-1
UFC Record: 10
Last 5: 5-0
Streak: +9

Demetrious Johnson
80% Fights Won
51% Striking Accuracy
74% Takedown Accuracy

Odds: +365
Reach: 66 in
Record: 11-1
UFC Record: 2-0
Last 5: 4-1
Streak: +4

With a 9 fight winning streak going,and Cruz becoming more and more comfortable in the Octagon, his opponents are going to have to find a way to deal with his momentum. Johnson is just getting to the point himself where he is forcing his opponents to notice his win streak as well. As the shortest person on the UFC roster, Johnson is a perennial underdog who has been controlling opponents and frustrating them. I can only imagine he has been hearing all of his life that he has been too short for professional sports. This drive and determination has brought him to the pinnacle of mixed martial arts and the promise land of the division. This is the determination he is going to have to muster to win this fight. His skills will need to be sharp, he must be in perfect condition, he must come in with a perfect game plan, and he must execute it.

Johnson is going to want to control the pace of this fight, and keep Cruz moving backwards. He can’t let Cruz get fancy and loose, and dance on the outside while frustrating him with jabs and crosses. Johnson is going to want to attempt takedowns, and fake them to keep Cruz guessing as to whats coming next. He will have to be as unpredictable as Cruz can be.

Cruz is going to have to gather himself, realize he is in another serious title fight against a game opponent, and focus on what he does best. Cruz will look to come out and take the center of the cage, and immediately will start looking for angles and holes in DJ’s game to exploit.  As soon as Cruz figures out what works, he will be moving and circling to keep Johnson guessing while picking his shots (this is the part where Johnson needs to be the most aggressive.) That will be the game plan for Camp Cruz on this one, and when his corner tells him the end of the round is coming and his plan is working, look for him to go for the takedown to seal the deal on rounds.

I think too many things need to fall in place for this fight to go Johnson’s way. He has been proving people wrong over and over again, but Cruz is really coming into his own in the UFC and becoming so comfortable in the Octagon. I don’t think Cruz will get the finish in this fight, but expect a fast paced exciting fight that will have Cruz leaving with the belt with a decision.

Heavyweight bout:
Pat Barry vs.  Stefan Struve

Pat Barry
50% Fights Won
45% Striking Accuracy
0% Takedown Accuracy

Odds: -200
Reach: 74.5 in
Record: 6-3
UFC Record: 3-3
Last 5: 2-3
Streak: -1

Stefan Struve

63% Fights Won
51% Striking Accuracy
67% Takedown Accuracy

Odds: +170
Reach: 83 in
Record: 21-5
UFC Record: 5-3
Last 5: 3-2
Streak: -1

This is almost the same breakdown as the main event, but with much larger individuals. Both fighters are coming off of a loss, and the heavyweight division is looking for someone to break the ceiling or the heavyweights will have some rematches coming down the pike. With a dominant win on this stage one fighter will be able to do that.

The thing that worries me the most for Pat Barry is not the size disadvantage he will be facing on Saturday night. Its his ground skills compared to Struve’s that do. In the Crocop fight, Mirlko was able to win via a rear naked choke without any hooks. Literally, all he had to do was stand up or roll over. I understand, he was taking a beating at the end there, but that stuff of needs to be instinct at this level of MMA. Struve’s long limbs play into the ground game as well, and he is able to grab submissions that shorter fighters like Barry can’t cinch up.

How does Barry win this one? He needs to chop down the tall tree, and leg kick the hell out of Struve. He has to be careful of the straight right from Struve when he throws it, but even if he lands just one or two it will slow Struve down a little bit. I don’t see that happening in this fight though, and I see Struve being able to get this fight to the floor and get the submission.

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