One of the more exciting strikers in the UFC isn’t going anywhere. Today, MMA Fighting was the first to report that Edson Barboza (21-9) has inked a new deal with the promotion that he’s called home for more than ten years.
According to Barboza’s management, the new deal is a multiple fight deal that will likely keep him in the UFC for the rest of his career. Barboza had one fight left on his current contract, but the UFC was able to renew the deal before Barboza hit the open market.
Earlier this month, Barboza had expressed his frustrations with the promotion. He’s been waiting to fight for months and there’s been nothing on the table. The 35 year old has been in a state of limbo over the past few months.
Last year, Barboza dropped down to the UFC‘s featherweight division after spending his career at lightweight. He felt that this would be the best move for his career and it would lead to a world title.
However, Barboza dropped his first fight to Dan Ige by split decision. He did bounce back in October to pick up his first win at 145 pounds. Barboza is currently 14th in the UFC‘s featherweight rankings and with a new deal in hand, Barboza is anxious to get back to work.
What’s next for Barboza in the UFC?
Now that the contract situation is figured out, the question becomes, who will Barboza face? The UFC is currently exploring options for his next fight and Barboza is getting anxious to get back into the octagon.
There have been a couple of names that have been thrown out there that I’m a fan of. One of those names is Jeremy Stephens (28-18, 1 NC). Stephens is just 0-4, 1 NC in his last five fights, however, he’s still ranked eighth in the featherweight division.
The UFC attempted to make this fight in 2020, however, Stephens had to pull out of the fight. The promotion still likes this fight and it’s certainly a possibility. Another name I’ve seen thrown out there is Shane Burgos (13-2).
Burgos had an incredible fight against Josh Emmett back in June. Ultimately, Burgos came up short, but he didn’t really lose any steam despite the loss. The only two men who have defeated Burgos are Emmett and Calvin Kattar.
Burgos and Barboza are in similar positions in terms of the UFC rankings. This would be another fun matchup for fight fans. Given the new contract and Barboza’s urgency to fight, I would expect a fight announcement sooner than later.