UFC 143 Preview: Barao vs. Jorgensen and Herman vs. Starks

Scott JorgensenMMAFrenzy’s coverage of Saturday’s main card begins with our preview of a middleweight battle between Ed Herman and Clifford Starks and a bantamweight tilt between Renan Barao and Scott Jorgensen. Stay tuned to MMAFrenzy as we break down each fight on the main card and conclude with the main event interim welterweight championship bout between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit.

Scott Jorgensen vs. Renan Barao

Keys for Jorgensen (CL) – Jorgensen has a lot of power in his hands, but this is a fight where he needs to put his ego on the shelf and stick to where he’s best. Which is outwrestling Barao on the ground.

What Jorgensen must do is set up the takedown attempts by putting together quick combos and then drop to the shot before Barao can respond. What he cannot do however, is let Barao get off first in the striking game. If he lets Barao dictate the pace and is forced to resort to desperate shots he will end up taking a beating.

I think Jorgensen knows this and will press his own style as best he can. If he can control the pace, and dictate where this fight takes place, he should be victorious.

Keys for Barao (Bryan Robison) – For Renan Barao, it seems the easy formula is to just keep what he is doing. His last loss was in April 2005. Since then, he has not lost in 28 consecutive matches. With a lethal combination of skills both on the feet and on the ground, Barao is able to take the fight anywhere.

With those skills, Barao will likely look to keep this fight on his feet for as long as he can. When Scott Jorgensen is unable to dictate the pace of a fight, he can struggle. With a significant reach advantage, and an even bigger striking advantage, Barao can dictate the pace on his feet.

While Jorgensen will look to use his excellent wrestling to his advantage, Barao is excellent on his back with submissions. But even with those submissions, Jorgensen is very strong at 135 pounds. Barao cannot let Jorgensen keep him on his back, which is certainly easier said than done.

Clifford Starks vs. Ed Herman

Keys for Herman (BR) – For Ed Herman, the long road back to a UFC career seems to finally be coming to fruition. After a nearly two year layoff, Herman returned in June 2011, defeating Tim Credeur. He then defeated Kyle Noke in August.

Now he faces Clifford Starks in the opening match of the main card on Saturday night. For Starks, it is simple, use what you know best, your wrestling.

For Herman, he has a much bigger arsenal of tools to use. He has power in his strikes, but also has a strong jiu-jitsu background. While he might see the lights at the top of the arena a few times while he is on his back, he will likely be able to find his way out of those situations.

As any fighter that possesses more abilities, Herman must dictate the pace and how the fight will be fought. With such a large advantage in striking, chances are that he will want the fight to play out on his feet.

In his previous losses in the UFC, Herman had at least one of his styles negated. He will not face that in Starks.

Keys for Starks (CL) – Wrestling, wrestling, and more wrestling… Last time Herman faced an Arizona State wrestler it almost ended his career, so he may want a lil payback. Unless Starks has expanded on his striking game by leaps and bounds, expect him to look to keep this fight grounded.

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