Veteran UFC featherweight contender Edson Barboza says he is open to fighting Zabit Magomedsharipov next, saying the fight would be a “war.”
Barboza is coming off another incredible performance, this time against Shane Burgos, who he finished via third-round TKO in the “Fight of the Night” at UFC 262 this past Saturday night in Houston, Texas. It was Barboza’s second straight win after besting Makwan Amirkhani in his last outing, as he improved to 2-1 overall as a featherweight. If not for a controversial split decision loss to Dan Ige in his featherweight debut last year, Barboza would be 3-0 at 145lbs. Regardless of the way the judges scored that fight, “Junior” believes he’s at the top of his game right now and he wants to fight a top-five rival.
Speaking to James Lynch, Barboza was asked about fighting several names at 145lbs and he was specifically asked about Magomedsharipov. The Russian was recently taken out of the top-five rankings and is flirting with retirement, but we all know he’s one of the best in the division. If the UFC offered him a fight with Barboza, perhaps he would return. If that’s the case, Barboza would love that fight. Despite being former training partners, Barboza knows it would be an exciting battle for the fans.
“Yeah, of course. Of course, why not? (We trained together) for a couple of years in New Jersey (at Ricardo Almeida’s). Such a nice guy, I know how tough he is. But yeah, it’s going to be a war, like always. Same thing I said about those guys in the top five, me against him is going to be a war. It’s going to be a fun fight for the fans. It’s going to be a great fight,” Barboza said.
Barboza vs. Magomedsharipov would certainly be a big fight at 145lbs between two of the most exciting fighters in the division. But whether it’s Magomedsharipov, Yair Rodriguez, The Korean Zombie, Max Holloway, or Giga Chikadze, there are a lot of really fun fights out there for Barboza at featherweight.
Who do you want to see Edson Barboza fight next?
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