Edson Barboza to make Featherweight Debut in May

Edson Barboza
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - APRIL 18: Edson Barboza participates in an open workout at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on April 18, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Edson Barboza is set to make his featherweight debut at UFC Oklahoma City in May. The career-long lightweight and perennial top contender at 155lbs drops a division after falling on hard times as of late. Dropping four of his last five fights, a change was needed and a drop-down in weight may provide another contender in a stacked featherweight division.

Contract

Earlier this week it looked as though Edson Barboza was going to wave goodbye to the UFC. He tweeted the UFC, Sean Shelby and Dana White pleading ‘Please let me go’.

 

As Barboza stated in his tweet, he has been a member of the worlds top promotion for almost 10 years. In this time, he has competed 22 times, notching 14 wins. These 22 fights include an impressive nine post-fight bonuses. If the UFC were to have let Barboza go, it would be a tragedy. He is one of the most recognisable names in the game, has the ability to headline a card and certainly has an entertainment factor.

Only the Best

Although the slick striker, Edson Barboza has fallen on hard times recently and has lost eight UFC bouts, he has only ever faced the best, however. The names on his resume include Donald CerroneEvan DunhamMichael JohnsonPaul Felder (twice), Tony FergusonAnthony PettisGilbert MelendezKhabib NurmagomedovJustin GaethjeKevin Lee and Dan Hooker. There is a strong argument that he has the most stacked resume in the business. This list includes two UFC champions, an interim UFC champion, a StrikeForce champion and a WSOF champion.

Although Edson Barboza has had mixed success against these opponents, only one truly dominated him. That man is the current lightweight champion, Nurmagomedov. Styles make fights and it was a horrible style match-up between these two men, with Nurmagomedov winning 30-25 X 2 and 30-24.

Featherweight Debut

Edson Barboza will drop to 145lbs in May for the first time in his career. His last five fights have lead to him losing four, including his last two. A change was needed and a drop in weight may be the answer.

Edson Barboza is set to face hard-hitting #10, Josh Emmett. Emmett is on the comeback trail having suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Jeremy Stephens in February of 2018. Following a number of awful injuries as a result of this bout, Emmett returned on Barboza’s undercard in March of 2019. Emmett savagely knocked out Michael Johnson on his comeback before again gaining a big knockout victory against Mirsad Bektic in July.

This one has the potential to be an absolute barn-burner but comes with a lot of questions. How will Barboza look at 145lbs and will he make weight at all? If he does make weight, how much will it take away from his game? Will he be even faster at the lower weight class? All these questions will be answered during fight week in May.

The headline bout of UFC Oklahoma City will see the middleweight return of Chris Weidman. The ‘All American’ takes on ‘The Joker’, Jack Hermansson.

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