After falling short at UFC Vegas 92, what’s next for Edson Barboza?

MMA: UFC 272 - Barboza vs Mitchell
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 92, we saw a featherweight matchup with a ranking on the line. 12th ranked Edson Barboza (24-12) was looking to hold onto his spot in the rankings as he took on England’s Lerone Murphy (14-0-1).

Entering the fight, I really liked Edson Barboza coming off his last performance against Sodiq Yusuff. It felt like Barboza was catching a second wind in his career and I really liked the way he mixed things up in that last performance. Off two straight wins, Barboza was looking for his third.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for the Brazilian. From the opening bell, Murphy did a great job of using his jab and boxing to make Barboza uncomfortable. Barboza landed some solid leg kicks and he hurt Murphy bad at the end of the first, but outside of that, his success was few and far between.

Murphy controlled the entire fight and even in the fifth, Barboza couldn’t mount a comeback. When the scores were read at UFC Vegas 92, it was a lopsided decision win for Lerone Murphy.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 92?

This is a tough loss for Barboza considering the things he was talking about before this loss. Before the loss, Barboza was hoping that the UFC would eventually grant him a matchup with Max Holloway for the BMF title. However, he likely needed to win this one and another one before that could become serious.

This loss definitely sets those dreams back. However, I don’t think Barboza is done and I definitely think he has more to offer. So, who should the UFC pair him with next? Well, I think Barboza is likely going to stay in the rankings despite the loss. Coming off a loss, I like him against Sean Woodson next.

Woodson is on a solid winning streak and he’s looking to break into the rankings. I feel like a fight against Barboza would be a good test for Woodson to see if he’s ready for that level of competition. In addition, I think it would be a good test to see what Edson Barboza has left in the tank.

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