Edson Barboza Delivers Yet Another “Chalk Outline KO”
An enticing matchup on the main card of UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs Gastelum saw top ten ranked lightweights Edson Barboza and Beneil Dariush go head-to-head in front of a capacity crowd at Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil.
The bout was critical for both fighters, considering the fact that Barboza was the number five ranked lightweight while Dariush was sitting three spots behind him at number eight.
Brazilian fan favourite Barboza (18-4 before this fight) was undefeated in 2016, with wins over Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez and was hoping to kick off 2017 with a win in front of a passionate home crowd.
Going into this fight, it had been nearly three years since Barboza had stopped an opponent but the former Knockout of the Year winner (in 2012) was quick to point out that his level of opponent had risen but he was still capable of finishing anybody (see proof below):
— Ðíablø@あんかけ治安介入部隊🐺 (@G_I_G_I_N) January 18, 2016
“The higher the level of my opponents, the harder it is to get a knockout or submission,” Barboza said. “My last two opponents were some of the best in the world. They have very few losses by knockout or submission. The closer to the top of the pyramid, the harder it gets. But all I need is one chance. If I get that one chance, I’ll get the finish – against anyone.”
Beneil Dariush (14-2 before this fight) was both hoping to avoid Barboza’s finishing power and display his own in one of the biggest fights in his fledgling career.
Assyrian-American has been impressive since joining the UFC in 2014, with victories over notable opponents such as Michael Johnson, James Vick, and most recently, Rashid Magomedov.
The stage was set for a high-stakes clash between two of the best in the lightweight division with the winner furthering his claim for a title shot.
In the first round Dariush came out on the forefront, looking to counter the aggression of Barboza with his own attack.
— UFC MMA BOXING News (@UFC_MMA_Boxing_) March 12, 2017
At times, Barboza looked vulnerable, often leaving his chin exposed to clean shots.
Having barely thrown any of his devastating kicks that he is best known for, Barboza caught Dariush clean on the jaw with a flying knee to knock him out cold.
CHECK OUT THE DEVASTATING KO ON THE PLAYER BELOW:
— The MMA Masters (@TheMMAMasters) March 12, 2017