Edson Barboza’s December loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov couldn’t have gone a whole lot worse, as he was thoroughly dominated by the Russian for three, lopsided rounds. All the same, the ever-dangerous Barboza feels Nurmagomedov could lose to any number of top-10 lightweights on any given night.
“It’s tough to say who is the best,” Barboza told MMAWeekly. “Sometimes the guy who’s the best isn’t the guy who wins that night and he loses. It’s so hard for me to say one guy is the best. I feel like if you see the top five guys in the UFC, you rank the top five guys, all those guys their level is so high.
“The level is so high, I believe Khabib could lose to anybody in the top-10 in the lightweight division,” he added. “It’s so hard to say this guy’s the best or this guy is the worst. The guys in the top 10 of the UFC, their level is so high, so it’s all very close.”
Edson Barboza will return to the cage this weekend, when he takes on former UFC interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee in the main event of the UFC’s anticipated stop in Atlantic City. Provided he wins this fight, Barboza believes he could easily work his way back to a rematch with Nurmagomedov in the future. The same goes for Tony Ferguson, who he lost to in December of 2015.
“Oh yes, definitely, for sure,” Barboza said of rematches with Nurmagomedov and Ferguson. “100 percent, I really believe I’ll see Khabib and Ferguson in the future.”
Whatever the future holds, the Brazilian knockout artist assures he feels better than ever ahead of his massive showdown with Lee.
“I work very, very hard, I feel better than ever,” he said. “I’m more excited than ever because of that loss.”
Do you expect to see Edson Barboza back in the cage with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson in the future?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/18/2018.