On paper, Marc-André “PowerBar” Barriault (11-4) and Oskar Piechota (11-3-1) are eerily similar. Same age, same weight, and nearly the same height and reach. The most important similarity? Both of these 30-year-old fighters are coming into the cage on a three-loss streak, looking to save their records.
Barriault only joined the UFC a little over a year ago, after building up an impressive 11-1 record. He came from TKO Major League MMA with two title belts, then proceeded to lose all three of the UFC fights he has had since then. Each of the three went to a decision, so a win now could still turn things around for him.
The Canadian has a long history of finishing fights on his feet. First, because eight of his 11 wins came from striking knockouts. Second, because he’s only ever lost to a decision. We’re likely to see him come out swinging, trying to build space between himself and Piechota to avoid ending up on the ground with him.
Piechota’s overall UFC record, going back to 2017, is 2-3. Don’t let the record fool you, he lost against some undeniably talented fighters. Piechota is a lifelong BJJ student, so expect him to try taking Barriault to the mat in an attempt to avoid the strike attack. About half of Piechota’s wins have come from submission finishes.
With these two guys facing down the same existential career crisis, the fans should be in for a ferocious fight. Except in the unlikely event of a draw, someone is walking away with a devastating four-loss streak. Is it striking or grappling that is going to win that day? Both men are certainly proficient at both, but they clearly have their preferences.
Vegas odds have Piechota (-129) as a slight favorite over Barriault (+103). The matchup seems closer than the oddsmakers have it. A wager on Barriault, who has never been submitted, might be a good move.