Edson Barboza has one fight left on his current UFC contract, for which he wants to fight one of the top six contenders in the Featherweight division.
After spending a decade as a top Lightweight, Edson Barboza recently moved down to 145-pounds this year. He lost the debut fight in May against Dan Ige by a close split decision but bounced back in his next outing against Makwan Amirkhani via unanimous decision.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Edson Barboza shared what he feels about the top contenders in the division, and also revealed his plans after his UFC release.
Edson Barboza on the top-six in UFC Featherweight
Edson Barboza has an illustrious career to show for in the 155-pound division. So despite being currently ranked at #14 as a Featherweight, he believes his history as a Lightweight should land him a top-six opponent for his last fight.
"Look at my history at ‘55, I’ve fought the best in the world there, I’ve fought them all at 155. The top-six, whoever the UFC offers me, I’m in."
He has wins against the likes of Paul Felder, Anthony Pettis, and Dan Hooker in the Lightweight division.
The current top six of the Featherweight division are former Champion Max Holloway, Brian Ortega, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Yair Rodriguez, The Korean Zombie, and Calvin Kattar. Any of them would be a good last fight for him, Edson Barboza said.
"(Brian) Ortega will probably fight for the belt now. The Korean Zombie is coming off a loss to Ortega but he’s a great athlete. Kattar is No. 6 and is coming off wins, good fights, and that would be a great fight on the feet. Holloway is the No. 1, I don’t know if they would offer me that but it’s a great matchup, no doubt. It would be a great fight."
Edson Barboza has previously trained together with Zabit, and although they are not close friends, he has a lot of respect for the Russian fighter.
"Zabit, we trained together in the past, he’s a great fighter, a nice guy,” he added. “We’re not that close but no doubt, with the utmost respect to him and that entire team, I’d take this fight. Like I said, anyone in the top-6, I’m in."
Edson Barboza on what's next for him after UFC
Once Barboza is done with his last fight on his UFC contract, he will be open to offers from other promotions. But for now, his focus is on the next fight and securing a win on his farewell bout.
"I have one more fight on my contract and I plan on doing this fight, and we’ll think about what we’ll do next after the contract is completed. I’m in the UFC for 10 years, I love fighting in the UFC, and everything I have today I’ve undoubtedly conquered with the UFC so I love being there, but I’m open to offers. After this fight, of course."Published 27 Oct 2020, 23:42 IST