The mystery is over, Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight Edson Barboza finally made weight in his new division at 145.5 pounds.
Barbzoa spoke to Sherdog.com, where he explained his comfort with making the weight. He also explained that he was expecting to be around 165 pounds by the time he stepped in the cage with Dan Ige.
"Actually I knew all the time I wouldn’t have problems to reach the limit of [this] division,” he said. “I fought a couple of times [at] featherweight in kickboxing and have great memories of that. To tell you the truth, I have a tendency to lose weight while training, actually my diet was to keep myself strong in [the] lightweight division."
Following Barboza since he was 17 years old, his manager Alex Davis was also optimistic by the way he reached the new division, saying, “I'm very proud of his professionalism. He is really motivated in that new division and I have no doubt he will be a problem in here.”
Come down to featherweight division was the best solution Barboza and UFC found to keep the Brazilian on the roster. On March 7, the American Top Team staple even asked to be released on Twitter.
“I gave my best every single fight to put on a show for the fans, but I think it's time to move on. I don’t have more time to wait. Please let me go,” Barboza pleaded.
In his post, the Brazilian tagged UFC President Dana White, the promotion itself and matchmaker Sean Shelby. As Barboza is a veteran who headlined or co-headlined nine UFC cards over the last decade, and also pocketed nine performance bonuses with the promotion, the UFC was able to change his opinion and come to a favorable agreement in the new division.
Discussing his first featherweight opponent, Ige, Barboza predicted a great matchup.
“This kid is ranked in the top 15 and is coming off a bunch of wins in the UFC,” he concluded. “I believe that he will fight like most of my opponents trying to take me down, but he also likes to brawl. I have no doubt it's gonna be great to test for myself in that new division.”
UFC Fight Night 172 is going down on May 16 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The event will be headlined by a heavyweight collision between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris, and the co-main event draws a strawweight matchup of Claudia Gadelha vs. Angela Hill.