Veteran lightweight Edson Barboza moved up to featherweight and overcame early adversity to earn a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Sodiq Yusuff in the main event of UFC Fight Night 230.
- Edson Barboza’s remarkable comeback at UFC Fight Night 230 showcased his resilience.
- Barboza’s victory proves he’s a strong contender at 145 pounds.
- He’s open to facing top-10 opponents in the featherweight division.
- The fight against Sodiq Yusuff could be the “fight of the year.”
- Barboza’s future in the UFC looks promising as he embraces his new weight class.
The 37-year-old Barboza was battered in the first round, barely surviving Yusuff’s heavy strikes. But the Brazilian showed incredible heart, weathering the storm and turning the tide in rounds two and three with crisp striking combinations.
After going the distance in a back-and-forth Fight of the Night, Barboza emerged victorious by scores of 29-28 on all three judges’ scorecards.
Proving He’s Still Relevant at 145 Pounds
The win reinforced that Barboza is still very much a relevant contender at featherweight, despite his veteran status. He demonstrated incredible toughness and will, adapting his attack after nearly being finished early on.
Barboza also proved he has the cardio to go hard for 15 minutes in his new weight class. The victory showed Barboza’s world-class striking and versatility, mixing up punches, kicks, knees, and elbows to outwork his younger opponent.
After struggling in recent bouts at lightweight, Barboza revitalized his career with a gutsy performance. He earned his first win since 2020 and just the second of his last six octagon appearances.
What’s Next for Barboza?
The UFC Fight Night 230 main event illustrated Barboza is ready for a step up in competition at 145 pounds. He called for a top-10-ranked opponent next.
Fellow contenders Josh Emmett, Arnold Allen, and Sung Woo Choi would provide great challenges. Barboza also expressed interest in legends like Urijah Faber or Frankie Edgar.
Regardless of his next foe, Barboza proved his championship aspirations still burn strong. The potential fight-of-the-year candidate against Yusuff demonstrated Barboza has the skills and drive to make another run at UFC gold before he retires.
After reinventing himself as a featherweight, Barboza earned the right to face someone ranked in the division’s upper echelon. He showed at UFC Fight Night 230 that his best days may still lie ahead.