Enrique Barzola (14-3-1) entered the UFC in 2015 with a decisive win over Horacio Gutierrez. The victory crowned the Peruvian as winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2.
After winning the promised UFC contract and the glass slab trophy as a lightweight, Barzola dropped down to featherweight to meet Kyle Bochniak at UFC on FOX: Maia vs. Condit.
He lost to Bochniak via split decision and has since gone on a tear. ‘El Fuerte’ is now riding a three-fight win streak after smothering decisions over Chris Avila, Gabriel Benitez, and Matt Bessette.
This weekend Barzola looks to stretch that streak to four fights. To do so he’ll have to best Brandon Davis (9-4) in a venue that’s somewhat close to home.
UFC Chile takes place in the Movistar Arena in the Chilean capital of Santiago. It’s about a three hour flight from Barzola’s hometown of Lima, Peru.
Though it’s a lot closer than the sites of Barzola’s other UFC contests, the 14-3 fighter is not expecting a slew of Peruvians to make the journey south. Hopefully a few friends will make it to Chile to support him and the two other Peruvians on the card.
Barzola, whose never been to Chile before, told Bloody Elbow his wife might also be in attendance in Santiago and that he “feels very motivated to fight on this card, with great fighters from around the world.”
His last fight, against Matt Bessette, took place in Boston, MA on the undercard of January’s UFC 220. Barzola connected on 5 of 10 takedowns in the bout and enjoyed 4:32 minutes of ‘control’ (according to UFC.com).
“I feel good about [that performance],” he said. “But I do not feel satisfied with the result, because I always want to end my fight.”
Barzola has gone the distance in each of his 5 UFC contests, winning all but one (that split decision to Bochniak). Prior to joining the promotion he had 8 finishes in 11 bouts.
Despite not getting the finish last time out, the American Top Team fighter said he was happy with the improvement he showed. “I know that I did a good job in general. In my stand-up fighting, I felt faster and I also feel more confident every time I enter the Octagon.”
And while he is improving, he also thinks his opponent Davis, a DWTNCS alum, is getting better each time he competes. “He has good Muay Thai and boxing,” he added. “But I know that his wrestling is his weak point. He does not like it because he gets very tired every time he defends and that will be a very good opportunity to finish it.”
The veteran of Team Escudero on TUF LATAM 2 said that his own wrestling has improved a lot since the Bessette fight. While crediting his improvement to American Top Team Barzola singled out head coach Conan Silveira for praise, along with Marco Parrumpa (BJJ), Mike Rod (boxing), Steve Mocco (wrestling), Vitelmo Katel Kubis and Luciano dos Santos (Muay Thai).
With this crew, Barzola is supremely confident heading into UFC Chile and he knows exactly what he wants to happen next. “I know I’m going to win the fight and I would like to face a fighter from the rankings in November or December.”
You can see if Barzola is able to make good on this statement (and earn a shot at the rankings) by tuning in to FS1 this Saturday. Enrique Barzola vs. Brandon Davis is the first fight of the night. The Fight Pass prelims start at 6:30 pm Eastern/3:30 pm Pacific.