Edson Barboza

A Number Of Opponents Edson Barboza Could Potentially Face Next

Who should Edson Barboza face next?

Edson ‘Junior’ Barboza just picked up a trademark finish this past Saturday at UFC 262, where he KO’d No. 9 ranked Shane Burgos at 1:16 of round three.

The Brazilian Muay Thai machine got his leg kicks going early, and it honestly looked like the fight may not last long because they were all landing with a considerable amount of force.

Edson Barboza KO Shane Burgos GIFS | Sherdog Forums | UFC, MMA & Boxing DiscussionAs most of us know however, Burgos is one of the tougher men on the entire planet, and he was able to gut through them. Barboza’s counter punching was looking incredible all night too, he was as sharp as we’ve ever seen him.

He’s got his professional kickboxing background to thank for that, where he went 25-3 with 22 knockouts, winning 17 championships in the process. Now with this victory, Barboza improved his mixed martial arts record to 22-9.

Barboza cracks Burgos with a nasty overhand right early in round three, and it appeared Burgos was just going to shake it off. However, his brain certainly suffered from the shot, it was just a very delayed reaction.

Cub Swanson Knockouts Charles Oliveira UFC 152 | MMA FuryThe commentators were saying they’d never seen anything like it before. It’s a rare occurrence, but they’ve definitely seen it happen before. It happened to the man fighting in the main event, the new UFC lightweight champion, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira, when he fought Cub Swanson back in 2012.

Anyway, Barboza is now on a two-fight win streak, his first at 145 lbs, and his first since 2016.

It could be argued Barboza should be on a four-fight win streak though. In all honesty, a lot of people scored his rematch with Paul Felder for him, and literally everyone aside from two judges scored his fight with Dan Ige, his featherweight debut, for him. Both were split decision defeats.

Image/GIF] Gilbert Melendez gets dropped by a leg kick from Edson Barboza gets up and gets dropped again | Ufc sport, Martial arts, Mixed martial artsComing into this fight, Barboza had defeated Makwan Amirkhani via unanimous decision after nearly knocking him out, and after nearly submitting him believe it or not. Now this performance, he’s looking incredible at featherweight.

At 35 years old, a weight division change was needed for Edson Barboza and his career. Only, he’s too small for 170 lbs, and he can make the 146 lb limit, as well as perform well at the weight. He was physical at 155 lbs, and now he’s even more physical at 145 lbs.

After seeing ‘Junior’ look better than he ever has on Saturday night, who’s next for him?

Well, Barboza took Burgos’ No. 9 spot, for starters, while Burgos himself fell down to Barboza’s previous pre-fight ranking, No. 13. There are a lot of great match ups for him here at 145 lbs though, even if they’re not ranked above him.

There are a couple fights he’s called for, and there’s also a couple that we as fans just have to see go down.

MMA Fighter TKO by Hakeem Dawodu at UFC 240 | Mma fighters, Ufc, MmaThe winner of Movsar Evloev (No. 14) versus Hakeem Dawodu (No. 15) going down at UFC 263 would be a great match up, especially should Dawodu defeat Evloev. Dawodu went 42-5 in amateur kickboxing with 15 knockouts and 9-0 as a professional with seven knockouts.

Not only is he too an incredibly skilled striker, but he’s been effective in MMA, making it to 12-1-1 thus far into his career, winning his last five-straight inside the UFC octagon.

Evloev on the other hand is also a striker, but he can also grapple very well, and he’s made it to 14-0 thus far into his MMA career.

Next up is another professional kickboxer, this one by the name of Giga Chikadze, who’s also been looking very goodGiga Chikadze TKO Cub Swanson GIFS | Sherdog Forums | UFC, MMA & Boxing Discussion as of late. Chikadze went 38-6 with 22 knockouts as a kickboxer, competing in Glory a number of times, before deciding to focus on MMA full-time.

Chikadze halted his kickboxing career in 2017 when he was 4-1 as a mixed martial artist. He’d win his next fight, before being submitted on the Contender Series. Following that defeat, he won his next two-straight before being called up to the UFC.

At this point Chikadze was 7-2 as a professional with all seven victories coming via finish (six knockouts). However, he’d win his first two UFC bouts via split decision, before winning his next two via unanimous decision.

This has been followed up with two-straight first-round knockouts, one via head kick, and the other, his most recent, coming via body kick over longtime crafty veteran Cub Swanson. Not only has Chikadze done well in kickboxing and MMA, making it to 13-2 now, but he also has a 3rd-degree black belt in Goju-ryu karate.

Matches To Make Following UFC On FOX Charlotte | Sherdog Forums | UFC, MMA & Boxing DiscussionThat matches up well with Barboza’s kickboxing and MMA background, as well as his black belts in Muay Thai and Taekwondo.

Another name that’d be super interesting to see him against is No. 3 ranked Yair Rodriguez, if he’s ever going to come back that is.

No one really knows what’s going on with him. He hasn’t fought since October of 2019, and he’s withdrawn from a number of scheduled bouts since, most against formerly No. 3 ranked Zabit Magomedsharipov.

Aside from them, fights with No. 4 ranked Chan Sung Jung would be an absolute war on the feet, same as if he were to face No. 11 ranked Sodiq Yusuff. No. 5 ranked Calvin Kattar would also be a fight for the ages.

Kattar is the only other man to finish Burgos, and also did so via knockout in round three. If not Kattar, how about a If you have to lose, lose with style.... - A DUDE IN FLUXreturning No. 6 ranked Josh Emmett? This is the only other man to ever defeat Burgos, and he too nearly knocked him out in round three multiple times.

Barboza has also called for bouts opposing former teammate Zabit Magomedsharipov, as well as former champion Max Holloway.

In all reality, there are countless match ups for Barboza here, there’s so many new faces. It’s a division full of strikers, and he’s always had better striking than his peers.

His power in his knees and kicks has always been lethal, and his power in his hands has become more known here at 145 lbs. Not to mention, he has that typical Brazilian Muay Thai style mixed with that beautiful elite level of spinning attacks he possesses, stemming from his Taekwondo background.

Whoever ends up being next for this decade-plus veteran, one thing’s for certain, we’ll all be tuning in!

Who would you like to see Edson Barboza face next?

author avatar
Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!