The summer cards are beginning to fill out as spring comes to a close. One card sure to feature a lot of action will be UFC Fight Night Atlantic City. Already scheduled to be headlined by Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller, another action heavy lightweight bout has been added to the lineup. Edson Barboza is set to return to the octagon against Evan Dunham. The UFC announced the addition via their website on Tuesday.
Both men will be looking to return to the win column. For Barboza, this announcement comes right on the heels of his first round submission lose to Donald Cerrone. It was a fight he was handily beating Cerrone in, right up until he wasn't. The loss snapped a three fight unbeaten streak for the Brazilian and while it wasn't a major step back in the rankings (due to unforeseen circumstances, he's actually moved up) it did put the brakes on talk of Barboza as a potential title challenger.
His opponent, Dunham, has been out of title talk for a little while now. Formerly considered one of the top lightweight prospects he's now gone 3-4 since dropping a terrible decision to Sean Sherk back in 2010. Dunham is currently on a two fight skid, having lost to Rafael Dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone. The fact that Dunham and Barboza share their last loss in common makes this a fairly ideal fight of the moment to see which of these men has what it takes to stick around near the upper levels of 155.
If I had to put money on this fight, I'd put it on Barboza. Dunham really looks like he's fallen off a cliff lately and what used to be a "take two to give one" fighting style has gradually become "take five to give one." And Barboza, for all his chinny-ness, is well and capable of roughing Dunham up at range and staving off fight ending shots that might come back in return... At least, I think he is. As a point of interest, this bout was originally scheduled for UFC 146, when Barboza was unbeaten and had won his first 4 UFC bouts, and Dunham was coming off back to back wins over Shamar Bailey and Nik Lentz. Dunham was injured in training for that bout and replaced by Jamie Varner. The rest, as they say, is history.
UFC Fight Night Atlantic City takes place on July 16th. Here's a look at the card so far.
Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller
John Lineker vs. Alptekin Ozkilic
Rick Story vs. John Howard
Gleison Tibau vs. Pat Healy
Hugo Viana vs. Aljamain Sterling
Edson Barboza vs. Evan Dunham
Jim Alers vs. Lucas Martins