Edson Barboza plans to drop to featherweight

Edson Barboza, Paul Felder
Image via @UFC on Instagram

Long-time UFC lightweight contender Edson Barboza has decided to drop down to featherweight in search of greener pastures. This news was first reported by Brazilian publication Combate.

Barboza has won just once in his last five fights, sandwiching an impressive TKO victory over Dan Hooker between losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Kevin Lee, Justin Gaethje, and most recently, Paul Felder, who he lost to by controversial split decision. This skid was preceded by three-straight victories over Anthony Pettis, Gilbert Melendez, and Beneil Dariush.

Barboza, who is perhaps best known for his jaw-dropping wheel kick knockout of Terry Etim in 2012, has long stood out as a top-15 lightweight contender, but has yet to compete for a title in the UFC’s Octagon. Evidently, the 33-year-old feels his chances of doing so are better at featherweight than lightweight.

The featherweight division is currently ruled by Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski, who defeated Max Holloway by decision to win the title earlier this month. Other top fighters in the division include Holloway, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, Yair Rodriguez, Zabit Magomedsharipov and Josh Emmett.

At present, it’s not clear when Edson Barboza will make his featherweight debut, or who he’ll fight in his first bout in the weight class. Stay tuned for details on that as details emerge.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/31/2019.