Bellator 286 Preview: Juan Archuleta – Enrique Barzola

Daniel Cunningham
Juan Archuleta

Tomorrow night on the main card of Bellator 285, we are going to see a big time matchup in the bantamweight division. Former champion Juan Archuleta (25-4) will look to snap his two-fight losing streak when he takes on Enrique Barzola (18-6-2).

While a lot of attention going into this fight is on Archuleta, people really shouldn’t sleep on Barzola. Barzola is a very solid fighter who had a lengthy stint in the UFC. He went 5-2-1 in his last eight fights with the UFC before making the jump to Bellator.

Since making that jump, he’s gone 2-1 which includes a win over the impressive Darrion Caldwell. Barzola has tremendous grappling and he’s going to be looking to show that off against the former champion.

Juan Archuleta had it all when he became bantamweight champion. After first attempting to capture gold at 145, Archuleta finally claimed gold at 135 by defeating Patchy Mix. Then he had his first title defense against Sergio Pettis.

Archuleta would go on to lose by decision. Then he took to the Grand Prix and had a chance against Raufeon Stots for the interim title. After winning the first part of the fight, Archuleta was caught with a head kick in the third round. He’s looking to turn his fortunes around tomorrow night.

Bellator 285 Prediction

This is such tremendous match making from the guys at Bellator. Both of these men are coming off losses and both are two of the best the promotion has to offer at 135 pounds. When it comes to this fight, I think we will see a lot of competitive grappling exchanges.

Both men possess great grappling skills so it’ll be interesting to see who gets the better of who. Now, when it comes to the striking, I really like Juan Archuleta. I just think he’s more slick and well-rounded on the feet.

Usually when two guys fight who have good grappling, we see a lot of striking. I think that’s what’s going to happen at Bellator 285. With that, I really like Juan Archuleta. The cleaner shots with better volume wins out and Archuleta snaps his losing streak.

Prediction: Juan Archuleta by Decision