Exciting UFC lightweight Edson Barboza has his sights set on facing elite competition moving forward.
The no. 11 ranked Barboza, who has reeled off three straight victories, most recently posted an exciting majority decision victory at UFC on FOX 9 over Danny Castillo. The back-and-forth scrap was selected as the Fight of the Night. Barboza displayed plenty of resiliency in that fight as he was close to being finished by Castillo in the opening round, but rallied thanks to some devastating leg kicks and strikes to earn the nod.
Barboza has now served notice that he’s interested in facing Nate Diaz, Jim Miller or Donald Cerrone next.
Barboza has an electrifying skillset and is an impressive 7-1 inside the Octagon. He registered one of the most spectacular knockouts in UFC history with his spinning wheel kick destruction of Terry Etim. He’s 13-1 in his career with 10 finishes to his credit by knockout or submission. Barboza has rebounded with three consecutive triumphs since suffering the only loss of his career at UFC 146 when he was stopped in the first round by Jamie Varner.
At this point in his career, Barboza’s desire to face top-10 opposition is well justified. He’s confident that he has the ability to work his way towards a title shot, and only a step-up in competition will show whether he is truly capable of doing that. All three high-profile names would represent a serious test.
Diaz is fresh off one of the more impressive performances of his career when he brutalized Gray Maynard at the Ultimate Fighter Season 18 finale. However, Diaz seems to have other more high-profile names in mind and would likely balk at a bout against Barboza.
Miller got back into the win column at UFC 168 with a slick submission win over Fabricio Camoes. Miller has been a staple in the top-10 for the last few years, and would represent a solid challenge for Barboza with his submission skills, sturdy chin and toughness.
“Cowboy” fights this coming weekend at UFC on FOX 10 against Adriano Martins, and has expressed a desire to compete several times in the Octagon this year. His kickboxing pedigree would also make for an entertaining fight. Of the three big-names, Miller and Cerrone would seem the best candidates for a fight against Barboza.
It’ll be intriguing to see whether UFC matchmakers take heed of Barboza’s request and if one of the names on his wishlist becomes his next opponent. Either way, it’s clear that Barboza is intent on testing himself against the best that the 155-pound division has to offer. From what we’ve seen so far, he may be up to the task of taking his career to the next level.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports