With six Fight of the Night awards under his belt, Edson Barboza is clearly one of the Octagon’s most reliable action fighters, someone to be counted on to always deliver a bout to remember. But as we get ready to see him take on Khabib Nurmagomedov in the co-main event of UFC 219 on Dec. 30, we’re going to reach into the archives for fight reports and UFC FIGHT PASS videos that celebrate Barboza the Finisher.
Here are Edson’s greatest hits…
UFC 123 - Mike Lullo (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
(11/20/10) Unbeaten Brazilian newcomer Edson Barboza’s Muay Thai attack delivered as advertised in his lightweight prelim bout against late replacement Mike Lullo, as a devastating series of kicks to the leg ended matters in the third round.
“I’m very happy with my performance tonight,” said Barboza. “I didn’t get to showcase all of my talents tonight, but I’m definitely a striker and I felt I was extremely effective.”
After some crisp leg kicks to open the fight, Barboza (7-0) stunned Lullo by turning a takedown attempt into a slam of his own, drawing a roar from the crowd. After standing, the crowd got even louder when Barboza did it a second time. Lullo (8-2) kept his cool, mixing a choke and some ground strikes from the bottom position, evening the playing field in the process. Eventually, Barboza broke free with 1:15 left and got back to his feet, continuing to drill Lullo in his lead left leg.
Lullo attacked Barboza at the bell and looked for the takedown, a wise choice since every kick to the leg was producing a wince from the Illinois native. After another quick barrage, the fight went back to the mat, but this time Barboza was able to stand without taking much damage, and he resumed his chopping attack. With less than two minutes left, the fighters tumbled to the mat, with Lullo pulling out all the stops in search of a submission. Barboza wasn’t biting, and after a couple more kicks to the leg, Lullo could barely stand, even resting in the wrong corner at the bell.
Gamely coming out for round three, Lullo and everyone in the house knew what was coming, and after three more kicks to his opponent’s left leg, two of which sent him to the canvas, referee Mark Fennell halted the bout 26 seconds into the final round.
UFC 142 - Terry Etim (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
(1/14/12) Rising lightweight star Edson Barboza may have already locked up the 2012 Knockout of the Year award with an unforgettable spinning heel kick finish of fellow prospect Terry Etim in the main card opener that not only electrified his hometown fans but the entire MMA world.
“When you fight in Brazil, it’s unlike fighting in any other place in the world,” said Barboza. “In a fight, you try things and hope they work. Tonight, it (the kick) worked. It’s something I’ve practiced a lot and I finally was able to land it hard. I’m happy with this outcome and you can expect more of that soon.”
Etim ran out fast to open the bout, shooting out jabs before getting rebuffed on his first takedown attempt. Undeterred, Etim kept the pressure on and then secured the takedown on attempt number two, but Barboza swept his foe and got back to his feet immediately. Once standing, Barboza began working on Etim’s legs with kicks, occasionally going upstairs with looping overhand rights. In the process, Barboza slowed Etim’s offense considerably, landing with a spinning back kick just before the bell.
Barboza continued to peck away at Etim in round two, keeping the Liverpool native from getting into a rhythm. With a little over 90 seconds left, Etim scored his second takedown of the bout, but again, Barboza got back to his feet and stood in the pocket, looking to counter. Etim stayed busy, but the harder shots were undoubtedly landed by the Rio native.
The crowd got restless in the third, even though both fighters were staying busy, Etim stalking and Barboza countering. They erupted soon enough though, as Barboza planted his feet and drilled Etim with a spinning left wheel kick, stiffening and knocking Etim out immediately, with referee Dan Miragliotta halting the bout at the 2:02 mark.
UFC 162 - Rafaello Oliveira (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
(7/6/13) Anyone who says leg kicks don’t win fights has never watched lightweight prospect Edson Barboza in action, and against returning Rafaello Oliveira, Barboza knocked out his foe with repeated shots to the leg, winning by TKO in the second round.
Barboza was on target with leg and body kicks from the start, with Oliveira’s takedown attempts getting tossed off with ease as well. In the final minute, Barboza’s leg kicks really started to affect Oliveira, and “Junior” upped his attack trying to finish. And though he didn’t get it in the first five minutes, it appeared to just be a matter of time.
In the second, Barboza continued his attack, bloodying and bruising Oliveira’s leg and leaving him limping around the Octagon. Finally, after another vicious series of kicks to the left leg, Oliveira fell to the mat and referee Herb Dean mercifully waved the fight off at 1:44 of the round.
UFC Fight Night - Evan Dunham (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
(7/16/14) Brazil’s Edson Barboza delivered a big win for the fans in his adopted home state of New Jersey, knocking out lightweight veteran Evan Dunham in the first round.
Dunham had the right idea as the fight began, using all the available real estate in the Octagon to keep Barboza from getting set to throw his strikes. But you can only keep the Brazilian bomber at bay for so long, and as Dunham stood near the fence, Barboza landed with a kick to the body. Dunham dropped to the canvas immediately, with the follow-up barrage from Barboza prompting a stoppage from referee Keith Peterson. The official time was 3:06.
UFC Fight Night - Beneil Dariush (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
(3/11/17) Beneil Dariush looked to be on his way to an upset win in his bout against fellow lightweight contender Edson Barboza, but the Brazilian bomber turned everything around with one shot, using a jumping knee to knock Dariush out in round two.
The two began trading as soon as the fight began, Dariush pressuring Barboza in order to leave him no room to set up his kicks. In fact, it was Dariush landing the majority of leg kicks before going upstairs with his punches. Barboza did get busy in the closing minute of the round, but it was still Dariush’s frame.
The competitive striking battle continued into round two, but Dariush’s aggressiveness got the best of him as Barboza scored with a flush knee to the head as his opponent leaned in. That was it right there, as Dariush was out as soon as he hit the canvas, with referee Osiris Maia waving the fight off at 3:35 of the second round.