UFC 161 fight card: Pat Barry vs Shawn Jordan preview

Photos via USA Today

How can either Pat Barry or Shawn Jordan come out on top this weekend? Find out below.

Two heavyweights on the rise will clash this Saturday night (June 15, 2013) as Pat Barry takes on Shawn Jordan in the opening bout of the UFC 161 pay-per-view main card in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Pat Barry

Record: 8-5 overall, 5-5 in the UFC

Key Wins: Shane Del Rosario (TUF 16 Finale), Christian Morecraft (UFC on FX), Joey Beltran (UFC Fight for the Troops 2)

Key Losses: Stefan Struve (UFC on Versus 6), Cheick Kongo (UFC on Versus 5), Mirko Filipovic (UFC 115)

How he got here: Pat Barry got his start in kickboxing and Sanshao. He competed in the striking arts for nearly six years on the international level before finally making the transition to mixed martial arts in 2008. After fighting professionally for seven months, he was already making his UFC debut against Dan Evenson that same year, winning violently with leg kicks in the first round.

Barry would suffer his first defeat against Tim Hague, showcasing his serious lack of a ground game in the process but rebounded nicely against veteran kickboxer and former training partner Antoni Hardonk with a TKO victory at UFC 104. He would fight his former hero Mirko Filipovic at UFC 115 and despite dropping the Pride legend twice in the first round, eventually succumbed to a rear naked choke in round three.

Barry rebounded with a dominant performance against the hard-headed Joey Beltran earlier this year and was moments away from finishing French kickboxer Cheick Kongo in the UFC on Versus 5 main event before suffering a stunning knockout of his own, the first of his career. His rebound fight was against Stefan Struve, a man over a foot taller than him. Barry hung with "The Skyscraper" for over half the fight but was eventually put into a triangle choke and despite an impressive powerbomb, he was forced to tap.

He was potentially fighting for his job against Christian Morecraft but showcased some improved submission defense, escaping a precarious position to knock the big man out in the first round. He couldn't continue his winning ways against Lavar Johnson, gaining mount at one point but eventually succumbing to the big man's heavy punches.

"HD" continued his roller coaster run inside the Octagon by smashing Shane Del Rosario in his most recent bout, scoring an emphatic second round knockout. He'll be trying to score his first career two fight winning streak in the UFC against Jordan.

How he gets it done: While Barry may not have the edge on the ground against Jordan, he's got the experience and the fluidity on the feet to easily win a stand-up battle against the former LSU fullback.

Jordan looked a bit stiff with his striking, at least from a technical standpoint. If Barry can stay composed and snap his kicks quick enough to the point they don't get caught and used to take him down. His punches will be more important than ever here because he won't want to risk being taken down.

Expect to see Barry stay on the outside and try to work over Jordan's lower legs with kicks, perhaps lulling him into a false sense of security before coming high with a killshot. If that doesn't work, straight boxing is his best bet as he should be the better striker overall. Jordan's been caught with some heavy shots before and Barry is capable of really making his shots count.

Shawn Jordan

Record: 14-4 overall, 2-1 in the UFC

Key Wins: Mike Russow (UFC on Fox 5), Lavar Johnson (Strikeforce Challengers 20), Oli Thompson (UFC on FX)

Key Losses: Cheick Kongo (UFC 149), Devin Cole (Strikeforce Challengers 17), Mark Holata (Bellator 31)

How he got here: Shawn Jordan was a former fullback for LSU but he found his calling with mixed martial arts. "The Savage" made his pro debut in January of 2009 and has kept an incredibly active schedule, fighting 16 times now in just three and a half years.

Jordan's competition level was steady as well, although he would suffer some bumps in the road against current M-1 heavyweight champion Kenny Garner and Bellator heavyweight standout Mark Holata.

After moving to Albuquerque to train with Greg Jackson, Jordan turned the corner and submitted Lavar Johnson at Strikeforce Challengers 20. Afterwards, he made his UFC debut against fellow newcomer Oli Thompson and he destroyed the former British strongman to start his UFC career off with a bang.

He stepped in for an injured Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to take on Cheick Kongo on short notice, but it was too much, too soon for him as Kongo stifled his attack with repeated clinches along the fence in a snoozer of a decision.

Jordan rebounced nicely in his last bout, overcoming Mike Russow's early aggression and not only reversing his takedowns but finishing him with a second round TKO of the Chicago police officer. Now, he's looking to begin some momentum against Barry. .

How he gets it done: Jordan has some nice power in his hands, but he has no business standing and trading with Pat Barry on the feet.

The smartest plan of attack would be something similar to what Jordan did to Lavar Johnson in Strikeforce, which is to quickly close the distance, drag Barry to the ground, secure a dominant position and either beat the hell out of him with ground and pound, or work for a joint lock of some sort, perhaps a Kimura or Americana. While Barry's been working on his ground game, he's still got a long ways to go.

On the feet, look for Jordan to crowd Barry, take away his many weapons by getting inside and working him over with some dirty boxing. Closing the distance will also open up some clinch takedowns from the body lock position or with trips. The closer he is to Barry, the better off he'll be.

Who will come out on top at UFC 161? Tell us your predictions in the comments below!

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