Stepping into the Octagon last weekend, Marc-André Barriault (12-4) and Oskar Piechota (11-4-1) were both staring down the barrel of a 4-loss skid. Only one of them would be able to save himself from that fate. Even this far down the undercard, the middleweight division is exciting.
For Barriault, this was an especially daunting task. The man has accrued concurrent middleweight and light heavyweight titles in Canada’s TKO Major League MMA, but since his UFC debut last year he took three straight losses. Taking that streak to four would certainly bring his viability in the UFC into question.
Barriault began the fight with an aggressive striking campaign. He pushed constantly to keep Piechota against the fence. Sloppy at times, the strategy still found success.
As time wore on, the constant pressure from Barriault began to show results. Piechota attempted a takedown, and Barriault’s defense of the attack was a clear indication of where the fight was headed.
Piechota survived the constant assault, throwing many beautiful strikes of his own, right up until the final moments of the second round. Barriault’s power won the day as he finished his competitor in a TKO with a flurry of fists.
It is tough seeing Piechota, obviously, a skilled fighter, take such a substantial loss at such a crucial point in his career. It’s hard to say what will be up for him next, but there is a long road ahead of him if he wants to pull a substantial fight.
Barriault, on the other hand, has some momentum that he needs to keep up. The losing streak is broken, but to lose his next fight would put him back on the rocks. He may have a chance to take on the winner of the Brendan Allen (13-3) vs. Kyle Daukaus (6-0) fight this weekend. Whatever he does, expect it to be on the main card next time.