Exciting lightweight Edson Barboza is hoping to make a quick rebound when he tangles with Evan Dunham at UFC Fight Night 45 in Atlantic City. Barboza was submitted in the first round by Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 11 while Dunham is on a two-fight losing skid.
The July 16 matchup has the potential to produce plenty of fireworks. Barboza is known for his flashy style and devastating kicking game while Dunham has forged a tough guy reputation for being involved in several back-and-forth contests.
Barboza was actually dominating Cerrone in the early stages of their recent fight in Orlando as he rocked the veteran with a number of solid strikes. But he was felled by a stiff jab, and “Cowboy” quickly took his back to lock in a rear-naked choke and end the contest. Barboza was hoping that a victory over Cerrone would have elevated him into the division’s elite, but now the No. 11 ranked Brazilian will be in bounce-back mode after sustaining his second career loss. Barboza is 13-2 with 10 victories by way of knockout or submission.
As for Dunham, he’s been on a downward trend since beginning his career with 11 straight victories. He’s just 3-5 since that high point and has dropped three of his last four fights. Those defeats have come against strong opposition in the forms of Cerrone, Rafael dos Anjos and T.J. Grant.
Dunham had been scheduled to fight Mark Bocek at the TUF Nations finale in Quebec City but was forced to withdraw due to injury. He’s picked up four post-fight bonuses during his Octagon career and is badly in need of a victory to rejuvenate his career. Dunham has nine finishes to his credit in 14 career victories.
Interestingly enough, the two fighters were initially scheduled to meet at UFC 146, but Dunham was forced out of that contest due to injury. Barboza would lose to late injury replacement Jamie Varner in a massive upset.
This fight should be a highly entertaining affair. Barboza will enjoy a clear speed advantage and has all the tools in his offensive arsenal to enjoy success. But his chin is a bit of a question mark. Dunham is as tough as they come and will have to live up to that reputation if he wants to get past the explosive Barboza.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports