Edson Barboza
Junior
Booked to fight Justin Gaethje
LightweightUFC
January 16, 2019
Barboza has agreed to take on Justin Gaethje in a lightweight bout at UFC on ESPN in Philadelphia on March 30, Dave Doyle of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Barboza will enter the fight in March having lost two of his last three outings in the octagon, but he is coming off an impressive win over Dan Hooker via knockout in the third round at UFC on FOX 31 in December. He boasts a 13-6 record in what has been a historic eight-year UFC career, but he will have his work cut out for him against Gaethje, who had an unblemished record before joining the UFC a year and a half ago.
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Shows vintage form in dominant win
LightweightUFC
December 15, 2018
Barboza defeated Dan Hooker via KO (punch to the body) at 2:19 of Round 3 at UFC on Fox 31 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Barboza was able to find much more room in space in this fight as opposed to his last two bouts, and it made all the difference. "Junior" hammered Hooker's leg early with kicks and made him unsteady by Round 2, allowing him to work high and low to ultimately get the finish. Barboza may always have a difficult time against committed wrestlers but he showed Saturday that he is still one of the most dangerous fighters in the organization when he is on his feet. The 32-year-old moves to 20-6 in professional MMA as a result of the victory.
Takes on Dan Hooker in Milwaukee
LightweightUFC
September 5, 2018
Barboza will face off against Dan Hooker in a lightweight clash on Dec. 15 in Milwaukee, Peter Carroll of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Barboza will return to the ring after being bested by Kevin Lee at UFC Atlantic City in April, which resulted in an indefinite medical suspension for Barboza due to injuries sustained during that bout. That defeat comes on the heels of Barboza take a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in December of 2017, but make no mistake, Barboza remains one of the premier lightweights in a very deep division. He enters with a career record of 19-6. In the opposite corner, Hooker has won four-straight outings since moving to the lightweight division, including a no-doubter versus Gilbert Burns via KO (punch) in July.
Anticipating quick turnaround
LightweightUFC
May 2, 2018
Barboza told Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com that he intends to fight "two times more" before the conclusion of 2018.
ANALYSIS
Barboza is a tremendously talented fighter in the 155-pound division, but he hasn't looked that way of late, taking back-to-back brutal losses to Kevin Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Despite a tough run (and indefinite medical suspension), Barboza is already back in the gym, expressing his desire for a quick turnaround to get back on track. No names were mentioned in specific, but the No. 6-ranked lightweight is hoping for an opponent within that vicinity.
Out indefinitely following loss to Kevin Lee
LightweightUFC
April 24, 2018
Barboza has been suspended indefinitely pending a CT scan of head and facial bones resulting from his TKO loss to Kevin Lee at UFC Atlantic City, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Barboza nearly finished Lee with a third-round head kick, but took a sustained beating in each of the other four rounds of the fight before ringside doctors put an end to it in the fifth. Barboza remains an electrifying striker with some of the most dangerous head kicks in the division, but he'll now be forced to spend a minimum of 60 days on the shelf.
Struggles continue with loss to Kevin Lee Saturday
LightweightUFC
April 21, 2018
Barboza lost to Kevin Lee via TKO (doctor's stoppage) at 2:18 of Round 5 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.
ANALYSIS
Barboza should have declined the fight after Lee missed weight on Friday. UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov rolled over Barboza with pressure and ground-and-pound in December and Edson showed on Saturday that he learned absolutely nothing in the four months since. The crazy thing is that Barboza still had a chance to win despite his struggles. He smashed Lee with a head kick early in Round 3 and looked poised to score a huge upset but he just didn't have the energy to follow up on his one opportunity. The Brazilian fought the final three rounds on autopilot. The 32-year-old finds himself at a career crossroads less than a year after he appeared to be a legitimate title contender in the UFC's 155 pound division.