Late last month, in the main event of the UFC’s exciting stop in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Kevin Lee scored an impressive – though somewhat controversial – first-round submission win over top-10 lightweight Michael Chiesa.
This win set the 24-year-old Lee up for more big tests in the stacked UFC lightweight division, and post-fight, he made some suggestions to that end, dropping names like the “already down the hill” Edson Barboza.
In a recent interview with MMAFighting.com, Barboza responded to Lee’s callout – which he admitted he didn’t actually hear.
“Honestly, I didn’t [hear that callout],” Barboza said of Lee’s comment, “but he’s just another kid coming up, new blood, who thinks he has style, but he will learn things the hard way, getting beat up in the cage. He will calm down soon.”
“[Lee] only fought one guy in the top 15,” Barboza said. “Like [Tony] Ferguson said [on Fox Sports 1], he wasn’t tested that much yet. I’m the No. 4 in the ranking, so I think he should… I don’t think anything, actually. I want to fight someone ahead of me. But if that doesn’t happen I’d fight him, no problem.”
Barboza then explained that, while he’d accept this fight, he wasn’t particularly impressed by Lee’s defeat of Chiesa.
“Honestly? I was not [impressed],” he said of Lee’s win over Chiesa. “He’s ranked, I think No. 11 or something like that. He’s one of the 15 best fighters in the UFC, and everyone is good everywhere at this level, so I wasn’t surprised.”
Edson Barboza is currently on a three-fight win streak, having recently bested former UFC champ Anthony Pettis, former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez, and most recently, Beneil Dariush.
Would you be interested in seeing Kevin Lee and Edson Barboza fight? Who do you think would win this clash of ranked lightweights?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/2/2017.