Edson Barboza will be fighting Paul Felder in the co-main event of UFC 242. In the main event, Khabib Nurmagomedov looks to defend his title against Dustin Poirier. For the Brazil’s Barboza, the fight atop the card is one he is eager to watch for two reasons.
First, Barboza fought Nurmagomedov back at UFC 219 in 2017 and lost the fight by decision, and is interested in a rematch. Second and more importantly is the fact that Poirier is Barboza’s teammate and the pair spent a lot of time training together for UFC 242.
“Yes, I helped Dustin a lot. Just my experience fighting Khabib, knowing what he does in the fight and his tendencies. But, Dustin looks great,” Barboza said to BJPENN.com. “He trained hard and looks great, and we know he wins this fight and brings another UFC belt to American Top Team. But, my experience fighting Khabib is my experience, Dustin and I have different styles but I helped him with anything that I can.”
Given the fact that ATT has so many top wrestlers, like Colby Covington, Edson Barboza is confident Poirier is more than ready for this scrap.
“It is going to be a great fight between two of the best in the world go at it. It is like a pick’em fight, like a 50/50 fight. No one can make a mistake in that fight as if you do, it is probably over for them,” he explained. “I am so excited to watch Poirier compete and fight for the title. After my fight, I am going to rush back to my locker room to watch it. This will be a great fight.”
Since helping Dustin Poirier prepare for this fight, Edson Barboza realized he made too many costly mistakes against Khabib Nurmagomedov. So, the Brazilian is eyeing a rematch and hopes it happens very soon as he knows what he would do differently.
“Of course [I want a rematch]. Khabib is one of those guys I want to rematch. The last fight against him, I didn’t move enough, the takedowns were easy,” Barboza explained. “I promise if I fight him again I go straight for the fight and use my game plan not just worry about the takedown. That is what happens against him, you worry about the takedown and lose focus of your game plan.”
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/6/2019.