Welcome to the UFC: Daniel Barez

Daniel Barez, UFC London
Daniel Barez, UFC London ceremonial weigh-in, July 2023 Credit: Jamie Theodosi/Cageside Press

The UFC returns to the o2 Arena in London, England for a Fight Night event this Saturday. The latest UFC London show is headlined by returning heavyweight Tom Aspinall, who will have the British crowd in his corner against Poland’s Marcin Tybura. Also featured on the card are a number of debuting fighters, including Spain’s Daniel Barez.

Daniel Barez
Standing at five-foot-six
Fighting at 125 lbs (flyweight)
Fighting out of Valencia, Spain
Training out of Fight4Life Home
A pro record of 16-5
7 KO/TKOs, 6 Submissions

How will Barez fare in the UFC:

Barez is finally in the UFC after years wasted outside the promotion. He fought on the Contender Series in 2021, in a fight he lost that I thought he clearly won. Barez then had to go back to Mexico wasting almost two years of his prime squashing low-level guys. It was a bad decision not signing him sooner but it’s better late than never. It just sucks he’s already 34 but he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

If you watched Barez over the years you would notice incredible growth and talent. Starting off, his striking is a serious problem. It’s so much of a problem his wrestling is forgotten about a lot. I wouldn’t say he’s a great grappler but he can hold his own quite well. I’m more impressed with his wrestling. Barez has excellent timing on his takedown entries timing guys coming in and going in underneath. He’s obviously a better striker but having six submission wins he can’t be slept on or he will be the one putting you to sleep.

One thing you can always expect is for Barez to come out aggressive letting everything go. Barez likes to set the tone with a strong stiff jab and damaging leg kicks. He’s best when going forward but can crack you with his check left hook if you’re sloppy. Barez can get a bit wild at times on the feet. Saying that it’s part of how dangerous he is. Even though he’s reckless he’s very accurate. His body-head work is excellent and he has some big power at 125.

I’m really high on Barez and I have high hopes for him in the UFC. Not a lot of people will be able to strike with him. His takedown defense will be tested a lot but it’s good enough to hang with most of them. I easily see him as a future top-15 flyweight.

How he matches up with Filho:

Filho has a good showing in his UFC debut loss to highly touted Muhammad Mokaev. Filho looked so good because Mokaev played right into Filho’s game taking him to the mat. Styles make fights and Barez is going to try to keep this fight standing. I don’t rate the wrestling of Filho too high but he could get the fight down off a scramble. I believe Barez has good enough grappling to at least survive. On the feet, Filho stands tall and his hands are low being an open target for Barez. I see Barez having a field day going to the body draining the energy and eventually finishing Filho.