ROUNDTABLE: Staff predictions for Edson Barboza vs. Justin Gaethje

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Justin Gaethje
Justin Gaethje (photo credit KyleTerada © USA Today Sports)

Who will win Saturday’s UFC Philadelphia main event between Edson Barboza and Justin Gaethje?

Christian Moore, MMATorch Contributor

I am the biggest Justin Gaethje fan, yet, whatever I expect to happen in his fights, doesn’t happen. Against Michael Johnson and James Vick, I expected losses, but he got the win. Against Poirier and Alvarez, I expected a win, but he lost. I mean, I have Barboza winning this wight, in spectacular fashion, but don’t count out Gaethje. I just see Barboza landing a sick spinning back kick, putting Gaethje on chicken legs, and winning by TKO. That is what I see. I just don’t see Barboza getting KO’d, but I thought hell would freeze over before Pettis would KO Thompson. Either outcome doesn’t see a decision though, I just don’t see Gathje out boxing Barboza. Barboza can be beaten with ease on the ground, so while Gaethje could get a solid win most likely, we all know Gaethje doesn’t like the ground despite his wrestling pedigree. No one has ever beaten Barboza on the feet, not that I can remember, but Gaethje is the only guy who could in my mind, but I think Barboza via Round 3 TKO.

Sean Covington, Columnist – Covington’s Corner

Edson Barboza will give Justin Gaethje his routine beating and Gaethje will somehow pull out the victory. That seems to be the way his fights lean. I’m hoping Edson knocks his head off but I feel that in his zeal in trying to finish the fight he will get caught by Gaethje. A win shouldn’t do much for either guy really; it’s just a good fight.

Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I think Gaethje wins an explosive slugfest. Barboza will light him up with kicks but I think Gaethje returns them and it comes down to who can take the most punishment. I’m going with Gaethje on that. This should be the Fight of the Night and there’s always the possibility of it being Fight of the Year. Those are obviously sky-high expectations but I do think this fight delivers in a big way.


Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor

Despite his reputation as a reckless fighter, Justin Gaethje has only two losses on his record. Important to note about that though is that both of those losses came in UFC. His KO of James Vick last August was probably his best UFC performance and showed that he can be disciplined and not just come out swinging like a wild man. Edson Barboza is vulnerable to being outwrestled, but I don’t think Gaethje is going to go that route. I think Gaethje is going to keep it standing and that will be at his peril. I’m expecting a third-round TKO for Barboza.

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