A stacked night of fights for UFC on ESPN+37 takes place on Fight Island, tonight, October 10.
Headlining the 13-bout event is an incredible match up between the No. 1 ranked UFC bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes and the No. 4 ranked UFC bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen, a bout in which title implications almost certainly apply.
Co-headlining the card was a featherweight bout between Edson Barboza and Makwan Amirkhani, an absolutely stellar match up! Barboza was initially slated against Jeremy Stephens, and then Sodiq Yusuff. It appears three time’s a charm, as Barboza gears up to take on the Finnish grappler.
Barboza came into this fight ranked at No. 14 in the UFC‘s featherweight division, a rank Amirkhani looked to make his own. Amirkhani has had all but one of his professional fights in the featherweight division, while this is just Barboza’s second trip down to 145 lbs.
This was the perfect striker versus grappler match up, and it certainly delivered!
Barboza takes the center at the start of the fight and pursues Amirkhani backwards. Barboza ends up landing a nice shovel hook, and Amirkhani counters with a slick jab. Amirkhani then shot on a takedown, but was unsuccessful in the attempt.
About three minutes into round one, Barboza starts letting his kicks go, throwing, and landing a variety of them. Toward the end of the round, Barboza lands a thunderous round kick to the body, which Amirkhani catches and takes him down with at the end of the round.
Amirkhani opens up round two landing a couple nice punches, and he was blocking a lot of Barboza’s kicks early on. Barboza then throws a beautiful right cross, dropping Amirkhani instantly. Barboza then had Amirkhani locked up in a front head lock, which Amirkhani was eventually able to get out of.
Amirkhani then shoots on another takedown attempt, and he was again denied. Barboza ended up dropping Amirkhani with the same exact right cross he caught him with two minutes prior, and he was again locked up in a front head lock.
Only this time, Barboza turned it into an anaconda choke, and it was incredibly close to being finished. Amirkhani was about to get finished with his own signature move, but he scrambled out of it and got back to his feet. Barboza lands a nice barrage of strikes before being taken down at the very end of the round again.
Amirkhani shoots on a double leg attempt, but Barboza’s sprawl is so strong, he defends it yet again. Amirkhani then decided to throw a flying knee, which didn’t land, but did get him close enough to get double overhooks, and he was able to secure a takedown with those.
Amirkhani stayed on top for nearly three minutes of round three.
Barboza made his way back to his feet and lands a hard check hook on Amirkhani. Barboza lands a variety of hard kicks and punches toward the end of the round leading up to the final bell.
Official Result: Edson Barboza def. Makwan Amirkhani via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)