At 6-foot-7, Browne possesses a significant height advantage over the 6-3 Barnett, and Browne has used his rare size to give more technically sound heavyweights a difficult time. His past two fights received "knockout of the night" awards, as he finished off both former K-1 champion Alistair Overeem and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Gabriel Gonzaga, defeating both in the first round.
Overall, the fight will likely come down to two key statistics:
The first key stat is Browne's 100 percent takedown defense over the course of his eight UFC fights. With most of these fights ending in the first round by standing exchange, it isn't that impressive a statistic, but it is still representative of Browne's ability to keep things standing for the short amount of time his fights do last. With Barnett attaining most of his success in top position on the ground, having attained 18 out of his 33 victories by submission, he will find a large part of his game unavailable to him if Browne can stymie Barnett's takedowns and make it a one-dimensional fight.
If that happens, the match will then come down to how the fighters trade on their feet. While Barnett maintains a very low 1.66 strikes absorbed per minute rate (SAPM), Browne absorbs a considerably higher amount of damage (3.06 SAPM). But despite taking this higher level of damage, Browne has suffered only one loss in his career, against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, mainly because Browne was vulnerable after blowing out his hamstring. More often than not, however, Browne comes out on top when trading with opponents, with 11 out of his 15 career victories coming by KO/TKO. Barnett is an oppressive grappler but does not necessarily possess giant knockout power, so consider Browne a great bet to once again dominate with his size and power at the great underdog price of plus-165.
Insider Pick: Travis Browne
Poirier is one of the most promising and talented fighters in the featherweight division, though his recent record wouldn't show it. He's lost two of his last four fights, one by submission to Chan Jung Sung and the other by unanimous decision to Cub Swanson -- a fight, it should be noted, that Poirier took on short notice.
Poirier should be able to gain an impressive win that will put him back into contention, as the matchup is tailor-made for his skill set. Poirier's 73-inch reach will present the biggest challenge to Brandao, the season 14 winner of "The Ultimate Fighter." For a featherweight, a 73-inch reach is significant considering even UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo's reach is just 70 inches. Against Brandao, who is two inches shorter than Poirier and possesses a much shorter 64-inch reach, Poirier will have a huge advantage and should be able to keep Brandao at bay with frequent jabs.