UFC lightweight veteran Edson Barboza has been on a bit of a tear recently. After being submitted by streaking contender Tony Ferguson in 2015, Barboza bounced back by rattling off three straight wins over top ranked opponents.
To kick off 2016, Barboza stepped into the Octagon with former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis for a pivotal showdown at UFC 197. Barboza proved that he was more than capable of hanging with the best of the best at lightweight as he picked up a unanimous decision win over ‘Showtime’. In his very next fight, Barboza stepped into the Octagon with Gilbert Melendez for another pivotal showdown. Once again, Barboza picked up an impressive unanimous decision win, cementing his place at the top of the lightweight division.
Most recently, Barboza rode his 2-fight win streak in 2016 into a bout with Beneil Dariush at ‘UFC Fight Night: Fortaleza’, where he picked up a spectacular 2nd round highlight reel KO win over Beneil Dariush.
Now, with a 3-fight win streak under his belt, Barboza is looking to secure an interim lightweight title fight with Tony Ferguson. He spoke to MMAJunkie to discuss the situation:
“I think McGregor is not the real champ,” Barboza said. “He has the belt, but – I have more than, almost 20 fights in this division. Ferguson has more than 10 fights in this division. Khabib (Nurmagomedov) has almost 10 fights in this division. And I think the next champ is going to be the fight for the interim belt.
“And I really hope the UFC gives me a chance to fight with Tony Ferguson, because he said he wants to fight, and I want to fight, too. I hope the UFC gives me this chance.”
“My last fight against him, I had a four-week camp. I got the fight on short notice. Imagine, guys, five rounds. That’s going to be a good fight – maybe one of the best fights of the year.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/13/2017.