Edson Barboza: Dan Hooker Is “Most Important Fight” of Career

Edson Barboza says
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Edson Barboza is a proven veteran of the UFC who has shared the Octagon with the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, Donald Cerrone, and Anthony Pettis, among others. However, none of those names is the biggest fight of Edson Barboza’s career according to Barboza. No, that would be this Saturday at UFC on Fox 31 when he takes on Dan Hooker, and it is because it’s the fight where he looks to prove and reaffirm something not to others, but to himself:

“This next one is the most important fight of my career,” Barboza told UFC.com. “I always show a good fight for everybody, but the results are not the results that I want; I want to win the fight.

“I’m ready to win,” Barboza added. “I don’t need to prove anything to anybody, but I need to prove to myself (that I can still compete at this level). I really need this fight. I trained so hard to win this fight and I’m ready.”

Barboza does realize, though, that although the bout is about proving something to himself, it will not be easy to do so with a young and hungry opponent that will be aiming to take his spot:

“(Dan Hooker) is a great fighter,” said Barboza. “He wants to test himself against the best fighters in the world. He’s trying to prove himself against the best guys in the world and that makes me happy because I know I’m one of the best guys in the world.

“I know I can beat anybody in this division,” he added. “And I really feel like this is a new start for my career, a new beginning. This will be my 20th fight in the UFC and I always test myself against the best guys in the world.”

Do you believe Edson Barboza will get the victory over Dan Hooker and prove to himself that he can still compete at an elite level?