UFC lightweight Edson Barboza has been on a bit of a tear of the UFC’s lightweight division lately. After dropping a submission loss to Tony Ferguson in 2015, Barboza bounced back by picking up a unanimous decision win over Anthony Pettis at UFC 197 to return to the win column. Barboza built momentum on the win by picking up yet another unanimous decision win, this time over Gilbert Melendez almost exactly a year ago. Most recently, Barboza defeated Beneil Dariush via flying knee back in March to pick up a highlight reel knockout.
Now, following hand surgery, Barboza is already looking to secure himself his next fight. He spoke to MMAFighting:
“I went there with my manager, Alex Davis, to talk to the UFC and see where we’re at, what I need to do to get a chance for the belt. We went there to talk and see what my next steps will be in the company.”
“When I talked to Sean Shelby and Dana, they said they also don’t know what is going to happen,” Edson Barboza said. “They are waiting, too. There’s this possibility of fighting of the belt, the possibility of waiting, the possibility of fighting one more time. They don’t know. Nobody knows what’s going to happen in this division.”
With the two top lightweight contenders of course being Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, Barboza spoke about fighting either man, saying:
“I’m positive that I’d beat both of them if I’m there at my best,” says Barboza, who is leaning towards a rematch with Ferguson as the ideal scenario.
“A fight with Tony would be more interesting because it’s a rematch. I accepted that fight on four weeks’ notice — and this is not an excuse — and he landed that weird kick that everybody saw, and I was dizzy, but no excuses. A fight with him, full camp and no illegal kick, I’m sure I’d come out victorious.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/11/2017.