On March 5th, we have a meeting between two of the most contrasting styles and fighters the UFC featherweight division has to offer. Number 10th ranked Edson ‘Junior’ Barboza meets number 11th Bryce ‘Thug Nasty’ Mitchell.
Barboza, 22-10, is coming off a tough loss against featherweight contender Giga Chikadze, being taken out before the final bell could ring in the third round. Now 36 years old, the former lightweight contender with a highlight reel that will stand the test of time, has fought his last four bouts at featherweight garnering a 2-2 record. The veteran now in a crossroads faces off against tough undefeated featherweight prospect and up and coming fighter, Bryce Mitchell, 14-0.
Bryce Mitchell, since joining the UFC back in 2018 has gone 5-0, showing a strong ability to grapple opponents into fatigue and submission. Nine of his 14 wins have come by way of tap out, so it’s no secret the Arkansas native will look to floor the electrifying Brazilian in their bout. Should Barboza keep it on the feet he can easily turn the tides of the fight to his favour and light Mitchell up, as even though the blueprint to a striker is to floor him and keep him grounded.
Only two men have been able to control Barboza in that manner to the point of submission, Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone. Khabib Nurmagomedov even didn’t submit Barboza, however, did maintain a brutal beating on the ground.
Mitchell has momentum and the skill set to keep Barboza from getting comfortable as his game revolves around controlling the pace and the distance he does run the risk of Barboza catching him with a fight-ending strike as the veteran is in desperate need of a win.
Check out our breakdown on the latest MMASucka podcast:
Embed from Getty Images