What’s Next for Edson Barboza After His Loss at UFC Vegas 35?

Published 08/29/2021, 2:37 PM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 09: Edson Barboza of Brazil poses on the scale during the UFC weigh-in on October 09, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


UFC veteran Edson Barboza suffered a technical knockout defeat at the hands of Giga Chikadze at UFC Vegas 35. The Brazilian saw his 2 fight winning streak snapped by ‘Ninja’ as the latter picked up another win to pile up his already long winning streak.

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With this win, Chikadze is making his case forward for a title fight soon. Meanwhile, Barboza has a lot of questions to answer. He is one of the oldest serving members of UFC but is yet to win a gold for the promotion.

Barboza made his debut at UFC 123 in 2010. His years of hard work and dedication have paved a way for everyone to realize how good his kicks are. He gave the intro of this on his debut win over Mike Lullo.

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And if we want to figure out how good a fighter he is, we can look at his 26 fights record in UFC. The veteran has beaten the likes of Beneil Dariush, Paul Felder, Anthony Pettis, and Dan Hooker. After incurring consecutive losses to Justin Gaethje and Paul Felder, Barboza made a move down to featherweights last year.

His debut fight against Dan Ige ended in a wafer-thin split decision loss to Dan Ige. But he looked like a fighter on a mission. He secured his first win in the division against Makwan Amirkhani last October, but when he defeated Shane Burgos via knockout at UFC 262, everyone believed him as the next contender for the title.

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But now his career has again come at a pause after his loss to Chikadze. So, what could be his options going ahead from this point onwards?

Edson Barboza vs Calvin Kattar

Just like Barboza, Kattar finds himself with 2 wins in the last 3 fights. Few matchups for Barboza will look as good on paper as his bout with Kattar would look. ‘The Boston Finisher’ entered 2021 with wins over Dan Igé and Jeremy Stephens in 2020. But it all came crashing down for him against Max Holloway at UFC on ABC.

BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: Calvin Kattar celebrates his win by TKO against Shane Burgos in their Featherweight fight during UFC 220 at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

‘Blessed’ tormented him with a record 445 strikes but Kattar stood there for 25 minutes trying to give Holloway whatever he can. Kattar is one of the top featherweights remains and won’t be disappointed much by the loss to Holloway.

A battle between Kattar and Barboza would be a feast to the eyes of fight fans, as both are striking giants. It will also serve as a breather spot for both, as they would use the other like a ladder to climb back to the title challenge spot.

Barboza vs Max Holloway

Max ‘Blessed‘ Holloway resurrected himself with a once-in-a-lifetime striking performance against Kattar. He had suffered three defeats in his four fights prior, including back-to-back losses against Alexander Volkanovski.

Holloway was scheduled to face Yair Rodriguez in July, but the fight had to be canceled after Rodriguez suffered an injury. Although the pairing remains intact, it could change in the coming days, as Holloway needs a win under his name soon to get a title shot again.

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EDMONTON, AB – JULY 26: Max Holloway poses on the scale during the UFC 240 weigh-in at Rogers Place on July 26, 2019 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Volkanovski and Brian Ortega will face for the gold at UFC 266. With some other fighters lined up for their chances, it could happen that we could see both these veterans going head on against each other.

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But everything comes down to what UFC thinks about Edson Barboza going ahead. It will be interesting to see who he ends up facing next.

Who do you think is next for him?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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