This past Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC Kansas City, we saw a big time matchup in the featherweight division. Edson Barboza (23-11) was making his return from a knee injury as he took on Billy Quarantillo (17-5) who was looking for the biggest win of his career.
As mentioned, this was the first fight for Barboza since having to go under the knife due to a knee injury. He was also entering the octagon having lost two fights in a row so a win was crucial for him. Both men needed this win.
Billy Q said all week that he was going to get in Barboza’s face and use pressure to throw off the Brazilian. He tried doing that right away, but to my surprise, he really tried to grapple early on. However, Barboza was able to stay away and keep the fight standing.
Billy Q kept the pressure on, but this ended up being his downfall. He came in for an exchange and Barboza leaped with a flying knee that hit him flush. Billy Q went face first to the mat and the fight was over. A massive statement from Barboza at UFC Kansas City which also earned him a $50,000 performance bonus.
What’s next after UFC Kansas City?
Barboza proved once again just how dangerous he is. He said in the post-fight press conference that his confidence has never wavered and he feels better than he ever has inside the octagon. He mentioned that if he performs at his highest level, he always believes he’s going to win.
So, after this latest win, who should the UFC pair him up with? Well, I like the idea of pairing him up against someone he was supposed to fight a while back and that’s Sodiq Yusuff. Yusuff ranks a couple spots ahead of Barboza and they had a fight that fell through a while back.
Makes sense to book this fight now with whoever the winner is poised to get someone in the top ten. Not too mention this would be a helluva fight for the fans.