The SBG Ireland product needed no assistance from long-time team-mate Conor McGregor to smooth his UFC career.
Making his debut in 2012, Nelson has some of the best grappling in the welterweight division and is a veteran of ADCC where only the finest grapplers square off.
However, recent form has not been kind to Nelson, a long injury layoff and losses to Gilbert Burns and Leon Edwards have left him outside of the top 15 and looking for a way back in.
The man in his way is Barberena, a crafty veteran who has taken on the who's who at welterweight with his all action style.
"Bam Bam" originally played the spoiler to Sage Northcutt's unbeaten career but welterweight's deep roster of talent saw him fighting future stars Colby Covington and Leon Edwards before either were in main event slots.
Barberena has seen it all in the cage and stood up to plenty of heat, a tough brawler with power in his hands.
He will look to keep the fight on its feet and bulldoze Nelson with power, rather than engage in Nelson's heavy grappling style.
Barberena should come away victorious, his hard-hitting style overwhelming Nelson and securing him a KO victory.
72% of Nelson's career wins have come by submission.
Barberena lost his last fight to Rafael Dos Anjos by submission.
Barberena has competed three times since Nelson last fought.
Bryan Barberena to win by KO/TKO