Edson Barboza eying run towards UFC Lightweight Title after upset win over former champ Anthony Pettis

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Anthony Pettis (photo by Joshua Dahjl © USA Today Sports)

“I know I can strike with anyone in my division. My kicks are hard to deal with and I can throw them from many angles. I always respect who I’m fighting but I go in there to knock them out. If the right thing lands, you’re hitting the canvas… I feel I had a great fight against Anthony Pettis. He is a very dangerous guy and he throws a lot of crazy stuff just like I do. He was a champion for a reason, and I’m very happy to have that win. I was able to be more effective with striking than he was and that led to a great victory for me… It’s my dream to be a champion in the UFC and I now believe I can make that happen. I train with the best guys in the world everyday and know what I’m capable of doing inside the cage. There were just missing pieces in the puzzle and working with Coach Mark and Frankie Edgar has taught me a lot about the changes I needed to make. I feel amazing and I’ve never been a better fighter than I am right now.”

-Edson Barboza talks to Duane Finley at FloCombat.com about wanting to make a title run after beating former champ Anthony Pettis in April.

Penick’s Analysis: If Barboza can beat Gilbert Melendez this summer at UFC on Fox 20, that would be two of his best career wins in back to back fights. The win over Pettis was surprising, and saw the 30-year-old Brazilian fighting as best as we’d ever seen, but he’s still just a fight removed from his loss to Tony Ferguson, and his inconsistency in the cage means those title hopes are still a considerable way down the road. Putting together several performances in a row the likes of what we saw at UFC 197 will make a 2017 or 2018 title fight a realistic option for Barboza and the UFC, but he’s got to stay consistent and win fights without any slip ups.

[Photo (c) Joshua Dahl via USA Today Sports]

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