In the co-main event of UFC 242, Edson Barboza will go toe to toe with Paul Felder in a rematch from 2015. Considering how exciting the first encounter between these two was, fans are expecting another war in UFC 242.
Stylistically both the fighters are very similar. Both Barboza and Felder are lethal in striking and are capable of mixing it up with knees, elbows and brutal leg kicks. It’s safe to say that Edson Barboza’s leg kicks are the most lethal in the history of UFC. He is the only guy to own a head kick, body kick, and leg kick knock out. However, Paul Felder has already fought Barboza. He did take a lot of kicks to his body, but still, he was able to go three rounds and put up an impressive performance.
Paul Felder has not faced a lot of top-ranked opponents. However, he has an impressive record of 16-4. In his last five fights, he has won four of them. The only fight he lost was against Mike Perry, and fans would not have complained if the decision had gone in favor of Felder. So Felder seems to be having a good run in UFC at the moment.
However, the same can not be said for Barboza. Apart from a few wins here and there, Barboza has faced defeats from all the top-ranked opponents. He has taken a lot of damage in his recent fights. He was manhandled by Khabib Nurmagomedov for the entire match. Again he was punished by Kevin Lee before getting knocked out in the 5th round. He was again knocked out against Justin Gathje. The only win he has in recent memory is against Dan Hooker, and it was a hard fight too. Keeping all that in mind, it’s safe to say that we are not going to see the best Barboza in the co-main event of UFC 242.
So how would a fight between these two go?
We saw a big hole in Barboza’s game in his fight against Nurmagomedov. Khabib closed the distance by moving forward, not allowing Barboza to throw as many leg kicks as he could have at a distance. Barboza has lost to fighters who dictate the pace of the match and always push forward. Tony Ferguson, Justin Gathje, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Kevin Lee, all of them put a fast pace on their opponents. That might be key in this match up.
Paul Felder, who is predominantly a striker needs to close the distance in the fight with Barboza. He might try for a few takedowns or get in a clinch with Barboza. Not allowing Barboza to throw the leg kicks will nullify the strongest aspect of his game. And Paul Felder can do that undoubtedly.
Felder has a better chance to win the rematch since Barboza’s best days are in the past now. He has been a veteran of the sports and had some amazing fights. He has also been knocked out twice in his last four fights. Hence, out of the two Felder will be the fresher guy.
Agreed, Barboza can just a kick to Felder’s head and shut his lights out. However, it’s very unlikely to happen. The prediction is Paul Felder takes this one and avenge his loss.
irrespective of the result, this fight is going to be a war.
UFC 242: Edson Barboza vs Paul Felder Prediction: