Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight Edson Barboza is coming off a tough loss to contender Kevin Lee at UFC Fight Night 128 last month. Lee manhandled Barboza throughout the fight, which could have ended differently in the third round when Barboza unleashed a wheel kick that stunned Lee.
Lee was able to compose himself and execute a takedown to recover and continue the fight. Barboza was eventually worn down by Lee and the doctor had to call off the bout in the fifth round.
It is the first time in the Brazilian’s professional mixed martial arts career that he’s lost back-to-back fights. However, what is more concerning is the manner of his recent defeats. In his last two fights against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Lee, both fighters were able to nullify the his dangerous attacks by utilising their superior wrestling skills to manhandle and control Barboza for the entire fight.
Barboza recently told MMAFighting.com in an interview that he was keen for a quick turnaround to avenge the one-sided losses.
“My plan is to fight again as soon as possible. I love what I do and I’m still motivated and hungry to keep training and getting better. I want to fight at least two times more this year.”
Although Barboza will have to wait for his Octagon return as he was medically suspended indefinitely pending a CT scan of his head and facial bones. At a minimum, Barboza has to sit on the sidelines for at least 60 days with 30 days of no contact.
In terms of his next opponent, Barboza will most likely be eyeing a Top 10 opponent whose style matches his. It seems fight fans would be keen to see Barboza’s striking game against someone who is willing to stand and trade.