Featherweights Edson Barboza and Shane Burgos will face each other at UFC 262, which is scheduled to take place on May 15, 2021. The news was first reported by Combate and later confirmed by MMA Junkie, but the UFC is yet to announce the bout.
Edson Barboza (21-9 MMA, 15-9 UFC) made his featherweight debut in May 2020 with a split decision loss to No.9 ranked Dan Ige and got back in the win column with a unanimous decision win over Makwan Amirkhani at UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs Sandhagen. Barboza will look forward to extending his winning streak to two with a win over Burgos. This is Edson Barboza's first fight after he signed a new multi-fight contract with the UFC.
Shane Burgos (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) got his three-fight winning streak snapped at the hands of No.7 ranked Josh Emmett at UFC on ESPN: Blaydes vs Volkov in June 2020.
The bout is an intriguing stylistic matchup with implications in the top ten of the featherweight division, and here are three reasons why it will be huge.
1. Edson Barboza and Shane Burgos are exciting as fighters can be
If UFC 262 line-up has not excited you yet, this is the fight that will get you to jump up and down. Edson Barboza and Shane Burgos are dynamic strikers who do not engage in grappling exchanges. The pair have won a combined 11 performance of the night bonuses between them and that speaks for itself. Edson Barboza has treated fight fans to some of the best highlight-reel finishes in the UFC with his kicking game and refined technique.
Shane Burgos, on the other hand, is a less technical brawler with an iron chin who does not mind taking one to give back two. Stylistically, the fight is prone to finishing with a highlight reel finish or ending in an all-out slugfest.
2. The fight will determine the next potential entrant in the top ten of the featherweight division
As per the latest UFC featherweight rankings, Shane Burgos and Edson Barboza are ranked No. 12 and No.14 respectively. They're both exciting fighters that are among the relatively well-known faces outside of the top ten. The winner of this fight will most likely get an opportunity to fight a top ten contender. The prospect is too lucrative to let go with a lackluster performance and it will only act as an added incentive for both fighters to produce a memorable win.
3. The fight will lead to some more exciting fights at featherweight
The bottom half of the featherweight division's top ten features some of the most exciting fighters on the roster. If the winner of Edson Barboza vs Shane Burgos can impress the matchmakers, he will most likely be paired with the winner of Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker, or Sodiq Yusuff vs Arnold Allen. Each one of those fighters is tough as nails and every potential matchup between the winners will lead to another instant classic.