When it comes to depth of talent, it’s no secret that one weight class in the UFC towers above all others. It’s the lightweight division, and the list of title contenders currently occupying its upper half includes Ben Henderson, Donald Cerrone, Nate Diaz, Joe Lauzon, Clay Guida and Jim Miller, not to mention talk that Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez is nearly ready to make the leap.

Another man quickly making a name for himself is 155-pound Brazilian Edson Barboza, recently announced for action against England’s Terry Etim at UFC 142 in Rio de Janeiro. The unbeaten Barboza, who holds a 3-0 mark inside the Octagon, was expecting to face a Top 10 fighter, but says he wasn’t at all disappointed to draw Etim.

“I’m always expecting to face top-ranked guys,” Barboza told Sherdog.com on Tuesday. “But, I’m an employee and the UFC dictates the orders. I’m not disappointed, not at all. Etim is such a tough guy and I’m sure if the UFC decided to match us up, it’s because they expect a great fight. So do I.”

Etim, who has previously trained under Brazilian luta livre expert Marcelo Brigadeiro, possesses a strong grappling background which could serve as a foil to the skills of muay Thai convert Barboza. While the 25-year-old phenom is only a BJJ blue belt, Barboza has an ace up his gi sleeve: the Nova Friburgo native is currently polishing his ground game with jiu-jitsu legend Pablo Popovitch and recent world champions Raphael Chaves and Marcus “Bochecha” Almeida.

“I want to take the pace from those guys and train BJJ even more,” he explained. “I’m not going to do anything new, because I’m not really worried about what my opponent is going to do. I’ll work as I always do, just with more attention to his guillotines and arm attacks on the ground.”

Should he nab a fourth straight UFC win, Barboza will become a true lightweight contender. Yet, even with that possibility looming, the young Brazilian sees a weight cut as a distinct possibility in the future.

“I don’t have any trouble making 155 pounds,” he revealed. “I’ve already competed many times at 145 pounds as a muay Thai fighter. I’ve already told my manager, Alex Davis, that I feel great at lightweight, but that a weight drop is a real possibility. Who knows? In the future, if I get a good opportunity, I believe I could do good work at featherweight, too.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

Lyoto Machida: Luke Rockhold’s ground game ‘doesn’t scare me at all’

  • 17 days ago
  • 26 views

Fresh off the fastest win of his professional career, Lyoto Machida is already back in the gym to prepare for his next fight. After dispatching C.B. Dollaway in 62 seconds at UFC Fight Night 58 in De read news >>

UFC Quick Quote: Luke Rockhold's ground game isn't that scary

  • 16 days ago
  • 5 views

"I think this is a good fight for me. [Rockhold] has a good striking, but I'm ready. If the fight goes to the ground, I will also be ready for everything he does, and I will try to surprise him as we read news >>

Lyoto Machida says Luke Rockhold's ground game 'doesn't scare him at all'

  • 15 days ago
  • 2 views

Lyoto Machida is confident ahead of his pivotal middleweight battle with Luke Rockhold at UFC on Fox 15. Lyoto Machida is looking to get another UFC middleweight title shot, and to get there he has t read news >>

What is the Secret to Edson Barboza's Success? (UFC Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 14 days ago
  • 6 views

One of the hottest fighters in the UFC lightweight division, Edson Barboza found his motivation to fight from his wife, Bruna. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 61: Bigfoot Silva not afraid of Frank Mir's ground game

  • 13 days ago
  • 3 views

But is keeping it standing the path of least resistance? Antonio Silva has seen better days inside the Octagon. After winning two straight against Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem, both via devasta read news >>

Urijah Faber returns to 145, meets Frankie Edgar at UFC Fight Night 65 in Philippines

  • 22 days ago
  • 0 views

Bantamweight contender Urijah Faber is returning to featherweight to fight former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in UFC Fight Night 65’s headliner.Filed under: Featured, MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

Ryan LaFlare promises not to avoid going to the ground with Demian Maia

  • 23 days ago
  • 0 views

The undefeated wrestler says that he isn't scared by his opponent's grappling credentials. Ryan LaFlare ensures that he won't be afraid of Demian Maia's ground game when they meet on March 21, in the read news >>

Chandler Jones vs. Jon Jones? 'Bigger' NFL star calls out UFC champ for charity fight, would 'throw him to the ground'

  • 23 days ago
  • 142 views

Outside of Anthony Johnson, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has pretty much cleaned out his division, and to date, no one has been able to solve the "Bones" read news >>

The Biggest Fish in the Alaskan Pond, Nic Herron-Webb Ready to Move Up | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago
  • 1 views

While he’s managed to build a successful career over the past seven years in his native Alaska, Nic Herron-Webb knows it’s time to move on. read news >>