The Ultimate Fighting Championship hasn’t been to Atlantic City, N.J., in four and a half years, but when the promotion hits the boardwalk again, it looks like America’s Playground is in for a banger of a main event.
According to an MMAFighting report, the promotion is targeting a 155-pound contest between top-10 lightweights Edson Barboza and Kevin Lee to headline UFC Fight Night 128, scheduled for April 21 at Boardwalk Hall. The event will be the first UFC card in the city since UFC Fight Night 45 in July 2014, which was also headlined by a sterling lightweight clash in which “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone prevailed over Jim Miller via second-round knockout at the now-closed Revel Casino Hotel.
It will be the first UFC card at Boardwalk Hall since UFC 53 in June 2005.
Barboza, 32, last saw action at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 where he was dominated by unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov. Prior to the loss to Dagestan’s “Eagle,” Barboza had strung together three consecutive victories in the Octagon, taking unanimous decisions over former UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis and former Strikeforce 155-pound ruler Gilbert Melendez in 2016, before authoring Sherdog.com's 2017 “Knockout of the Year” with a breathtaking flying knee knockout of Beneil Dariush last March.
The 25-year-old Lee has gone 9-3 in the Octagon since making his promotional debut in February 2014. “The Motown Phenom,” now based out of Las Vegas, had an impressive five-fight, four-stoppage streak halted in UFC 216 when he met Tony Ferguson for the UFC interim lightweight crown at UFC 216 this past October. Lee succumbed to a third-round triangle choke from “El Cucuy.”