Fresh off of his second consecutive win in his new home at 145, Edson Barboza is hoping his next bout will be in a main event. Speaking with MMA Junkie Radio, Barboza first took the time to name some potential opponents for the occasion and explain why he is hopeful he’ll get his wish.
“You can see the top five guys: Calvin Kattar, Yair Rodriguez, Zabit (Magomedsharipov), ‘Korean (Zombie)’, Max Holloway,” Barboza said. “That’s a main event. That’s a pay-per-view fight, for sure. UFC always gives me a chance to fight the best guys at 155. I hope they give me the chance to fight the best guys at 145.”
Barboza remained flexible on the opponent, but he was extra enthused about the prospect of fighting Max Holloway for his first featherweight main event.
“Make a fight me and Holloway, five rounds, that would be crazy,” Barboza said. “That would be (one where) 100 percent people would love this fight.”
“Me against Kattar, me against Rodriguez. I really believe I really deserve a top-five guy because my last two fights – I beat Ige, (who) was a top 10. Now I beat Burgos, he’s a top 10. I believe all my history with my performances, I really deserve a top-five next.”
Indeed, Edson Barboza is an 11-year veteran of the UFC who has racked up a grand total of nine post-fight performance bonuses. He is also fresh off of a new contract, so the UFC could decide to cash in on this investment by exploring this main-event pitch from Barboza. The Brazilian is currently ranked #9 in the featherweight division and last main-evented a card in 2019 against Justin Gaethje.
With Barboza’s most recent bout occurring on May 15 against Shane Burgos at UFC 262, Barboza is looking at a late summer return with a targeted date in mind.
“I think I saw a card on the Aug. 27 or something like that,” Barboza said. “That’s going to be perfect. Rest this week, back to training next week. End of August going to be perfect to get back to fight.”