Edson Barboza

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Edson Barboza
Born (1986-01-21) January 21, 1986 (age 35)
Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st)
DivisionLightweight (2009–2019)
Featherweight (2020–present)[1]
Reach75 in (190 cm)[2]
TeamValor Martial Arts (2009–2012)[3]
Ricardo Almeida BJJ
American Top Team[4]
TrainerMuay Thai: Anderson França[5]
Boxing: Gabriel Oliveira
Jiu Jitsu: Marcos da Matta
Boxing: Mark Henry (former)[6][7]
Jiu-Jitsu: Ricardo Almeida(former)[6][7]
RankBlack prajied in Muay Thai[8] [9]
Black belt in Taekwondo[8]
Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Almeida[10]
Years active2009–present
Kickboxing record
By knockout22
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout13
By submission1
By decision8
By knockout4
By submission2
By decision4
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Edson Mendes Barboza Jr. (born January 21, 1986)[11] is a Brazilian-American professional mixed martial artist and former Muay Thai kickboxer who competes in the featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and has formerly competed at lightweight. August 30, 2021, he is #10 in the UFC featherweight rankings.[12]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]


Barboza comes from Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro.[7] He was born prematurely at 28 weeks and given a 50/50 chance of surviving past infancy.[13][14] At the age of 8, he began practicing and competing in Muay Thai.[7] His professional Muay Thai record is 25–3, with 22 victories by knockout and 17 first-round finishes.[9] Barboza moved to the United States in January 2009.

Barboza's professional MMA career began in April 2009 in Tampa, Florida with a victory over Aaron Steadman via TKO in the first round. In his next fight, in the Renaissance MMA promotion, Barboza defeated Lee King via second-round KO, winning the lightweight title. Barboza defended the belt, also against King, later that year, winning via submission in the first round.

Ring of Combat[edit]

Barboza went on to join New Jersey-based promotion Ring of Combat, making his promotional debut at Ring of Combat 28 against Nabih Barakat. He won the fight via KO just over a minute into the first round.

After a second successful title defense in Renaissance MMA, Barboza challenged for the Ring of Combat lightweight belt against Marcelo Guidici. He won the fight via TKO due to leg kicks in the first round.[15]

Barboza's first title defense was originally scheduled for Ring of Combat 31, against Mikhail Malyutin,[16] but, due to his signing with the UFC, he was replaced by Luiz Azeredo.[17]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]


Barboza was expected to make his UFC debut against Darren Elkins on November 20, 2010, at UFC 123.[18] However, Elkins was forced from the card with an injury and replaced by newcomer Mike Lullo.[19] Shortly into the third round, Barboza defeated Lullo by TKO due to leg kicks (for the first time in UFC history).


Barboza faced Anthony Njokuani on March 19, 2011, at UFC 128,[20] winning by unanimous decision. Both fighters earned Fight of the Night honors.[21]

Barboza defeated Ross Pearson at UFC 134 via split decision.[22] Both fighters earned Fight of the Night bonus honors.[23]


Barboza faced Terry Etim on January 14, 2012, at UFC 142. He defeated Etim by KO in the third round, becoming the first fighter in UFC history to finish an opponent via wheel kick.[24] The win earned Barboza his first Knockout of the Night and 'Fight of the Night bonus awards[25]

Barboza was expected to face Evan Dunham on May 26, 2012, at UFC 146,[26] but Dunham dropped out of the bout due to injury and was replaced by returning veteran Jamie Varner.[27] Barboza suffered his first professional MMA loss via Knockout in the first round.


Barboza was expected to face Justin Salas on January 19, 2013, at UFC on FX 7.[28] However, Salas was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by promotional newcomer Lucas Martins.[29] Barboza defeated Martins via TKO (retirement) at 2:38 of the first round.

Barboza was scheduled to face John Makdessi on July 6, 2013, at UFC 162, but an injury forced Makdessi off the card and he was replaced by Rafaello Oliveira.[30] Barboza won the fight by TKO due to leg kicks in the second round.

Barboza faced Danny Castillo on December 14, 2013, at UFC on Fox 9.[31] After a dominant first round by Castillo, in which he nearly finished Barboza via strikes and then with a submission attempt, Barboza rallied back and won by majority decision.[32] Both fighters earned Fight of the Night honors.[33]


Barboza faced Donald Cerrone on April 19, 2014, at UFC on Fox 11.[34] Despite finding early success with his striking, Barboza was knocked down by a jab and lost via submission at 3:15 of the first round.[35]

Barboza faced Evan Dunham on July 16, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 45.[36] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.[37]

Barboza faced Bobby Green on November 22, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 57.[38] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[39]


Barboza faced Michael Johnson on February 22, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 61.[40] He lost the fight by unanimous decision.[41]

Barboza was expected to face Myles Jury on July 25, 2015, at UFC on Fox 16, replacing an injured Anthony Pettis.[42] However, Jury himself had to pull out due to injury and was subsequently replaced by undefeated Paul Felder.[43] Barboza won the fight via unanimous decision and earned his fifth Fight of the Night bonus award.[44][45] UFC President Dana White gave Barboza and Felder high praise afterwards, calling the fight "incredible."[46]

Barboza faced Tony Ferguson on December 11, 2015, at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale, replacing an injured Khabib Nurmagomedov.[47] After a back-and-forth first round that saw Ferguson docked one point due to an illegal upkick, Barboza lost the fight via submission in the second round.[48] Both fighters earned Fight of the Night honors.[49]


After the loss to Ferguson, Barboza decided to move to New Jersey to train at Mark Henry's and Ricardo Almeida's MMA team.[50] Barboza faced Anthony Pettis on April 23, 2016, at UFC 197.[51] He won via unanimous decision.[52]

Barboza faced Gilbert Melendez on July 23, 2016, at UFC on Fox 20.[53] He won via unanimous decision.[54]


Barboza faced Beneil Dariush on March 11, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 106.[55] He won the fight via knockout due to a flying knee in the second round.[56] Subsequently, he earned his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[57]

Barboza faced Khabib Nurmagomedov on December 30, 2017, at UFC 219.[58] He lost the fight by unanimous decision.[59]


Barboza faced Kevin Lee on April 21, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 128.[60] At the weigh-ins, Lee weighed 157 pounds, one pound over the lightweight non-title fight upper limit of 156 pounds. Subsequently, the bout proceeded at catchweight, and Lee forfeited 20% of his purse to Barboza.[61] Barboza managed to connect with a spinning back kick and hurt Lee, but went onto lose via TKO due to doctor stoppage in round five.[62]

After losing two consecutive fights, Barboza decided to return to Florida and American Top Team.[63]

Barboza faced Dan Hooker on December 15, 2018, at UFC on Fox 31.[64] He won the fight via TKO in round three.[65]


Barboza faced Justin Gaethje on March 30, 2019, at UFC on ESPN 2.[66] He lost the fight via knockout in round one.[67] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[68]

Barboza faced Paul Felder in a rematch on September 7, 2019 at UFC 242.[69] He lost the fight by a controversial split decision.[70] 13 out of 16 MMA media outlets scored the bout in favor of Barboza,[71] and subsequently the decision was appealed to be overturned. UFC, working in lieu of an athletic commission, denied the appeal.[72]


On December 31, 2019, Barboza announced his intent to move down to the Featherweight division.[1] He was expected to face Josh Emmett in a featherweight bout on May 2, 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Weidman.[73] However, on April 9, Dana White announced that the event had been postponed.[74] Instead Barboza faced Dan Ige on May 16, 2020 at UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris.[75] He lost the bout by another controversial split decision.[76] 16 out of 18 MMA media outlets scored the bout in favor of Barboza.[77]

Barboza was expected to face Sodiq Yusuff on October 11, 2020 at UFC Fight Night 179.[78] However, Yusuff pulled out of the fight on September 22 for undisclosed reasons,[79] and he was replaced by Makwan Amirkhani.[80] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[81]


On February 25, 2021 news surfaced that Barboza had signed a new multi-fight contract with the organization albeit having one fight left on his prevailing contract.[82] In May, Barboza revealed that the contract was signed for six fights.[83]

Barboza faced Shane Burgos on May 15, 2021 at UFC 262.[84] He won the fight via knockout in the third round after Burgos experienced a delayed reaction to being knocked out with a right cross.[85] This fight earned Barboza the $75,000 Fight of the Night bonus award.[86]

Barboza faced Giga Chikadze on August 28, 2021 at UFC on ESPN 30.[87] After a back-and-forth affair, Barboza lost the fight via TKO in round three.[88]

Fighting style[edit]

Described as a "dyed-in-the-wool striker,"[89] Barboza is known for his dangerous kicking game.[90] UFC color commentator Joe Rogan has stated that Barboza is "probably the best kicker in MMA."[91] He scored the first wheel kick knockout in UFC history, and is one of two fighters to finish multiple UFC bouts via leg kicks (the other being Antoni Hardonk).[92] Barboza is also known for his effective use of switch kicks, which have been labeled "exceptionally quick"[93] and "ferocious".[44]

Personal life[edit]

Barboza and his wife, Bruna, have a son, Noah and a daughter named Victoria.[94]

Championships and achievements[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Muay Thai[edit]

  • GP Demolition Fight Champion (São Paulo: 3 fights, 3 victories, 2 coming by KO)
  • Three-time State Champion (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Brazilian Champion
  • Brazilian Circuit Champion
  • Campos Open Champion
  • Torneio Castelo das Pedras Champion (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Two-time Copa Ciam Champion (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Niteroense Champion
  • Cabo Fight Champion (Cabo Frio)
  • Conquista Fight Champion (Bahia)
  • Two-time Demolition Fight Champion (São Paulo)
  • Copa Thai Boxing de Muay Thai Champion (Niterói)
  • Festival de Muay Thai Champion (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Runner-up in GP La Gara (São Paulo: 4 fights, 3 victories, 2 coming by KO)
  • Mountain Champion: first-round KO

Submission grappling[edit]

  • Submission Wrestling Champion (São João da Barra)

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
32 matches 22 wins 10 losses
By knockout 13 4
By submission 1 2
By decision 8 4
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 22–10 Giga Chikadze TKO (punches) UFC on ESPN: Barboza vs. Chikadze August 28, 2021 3 1:44 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 22–9 Shane Burgos KO (punches) UFC 262 May 15, 2021 3 1:16 Houston, Texas, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 21–9 Makwan Amirkhani Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs. Sandhagen October 11, 2020 3 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Loss 20–9 Dan Ige Decision (split) UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris May 16, 2020 3 5:00 Jacksonville, Florida, United States Featherweight debut.
Loss 20–8 Paul Felder Decision (split) UFC 242 September 7, 2019 3 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Loss 20–7 Justin Gaethje KO (punch) UFC on ESPN: Barboza vs. Gaethje March 30, 2019 1 2:30 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 20–6 Dan Hooker KO (punch to the body) UFC on Fox: Lee vs. Iaquinta 2 December 15, 2018 3 2:19 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Loss 19–6 Kevin Lee TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Lee April 21, 2018 5 2:18 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Catchweight (157 lb) bout; Lee missed weight.
Loss 19–5 Khabib Nurmagomedov Decision (unanimous) UFC 219 December 30, 2017 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 19–4 Beneil Dariush KO (flying knee) UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum March 11, 2017 2 3:35 Fortaleza, Brazil Performance of the Night.
Win 18–4 Gilbert Melendez Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Holm vs. Shevchenko July 23, 2016 3 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 17–4 Anthony Pettis Decision (unanimous) UFC 197 April 23, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 16–4 Tony Ferguson Submission (D'Arce choke) The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber Finale December 11, 2015 2 2:54 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 16–3 Paul Felder Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Dillashaw vs. Barão 2 July 25, 2015 3 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 15–3 Michael Johnson Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Mir February 22, 2015 3 5:00 Porto Alegre, Brazil
Win 15–2 Bobby Green Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. Swanson November 22, 2014 3 5:00 Austin, Texas, United States
Win 14–2 Evan Dunham TKO (body kick and punches) UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller July 16, 2014 1 3:06 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 13–2 Donald Cerrone Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC on Fox: Werdum vs. Browne April 19, 2014 1 3:15 Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 13–1 Danny Castillo Decision (majority) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 December 14, 2013 3 5:00 Sacramento, California, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 12–1 Rafaello Oliveira TKO (leg kicks) UFC 162 July 6, 2013 2 1:44 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–1 Lucas Martins TKO (punches) UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping January 19, 2013 1 2:38 São Paulo, Brazil
Loss 10–1 Jamie Varner TKO (punches) UFC 146 May 26, 2012 1 3:23 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–0 Terry Etim KO (spinning wheel kick) UFC 142 January 14, 2012 3 2:02 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Knockout of the Night. Fight of the Night.
Win 9–0 Ross Pearson Decision (split) UFC 134 August 27, 2011 3 5:00 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Fight of the Night.
Win 8–0 Anthony Njokuani Decision (unanimous) UFC 128 March 19, 2011 3 5:00 Newark, New Jersey, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 7–0 Mike Lullo TKO (leg kicks) UFC 123 November 20, 2010 3 0:26 Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Win 6–0 Marcelo Guidici TKO (leg kicks) Ring of Combat 30 June 11, 2010 1 3:01 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Won the Ring of Combat Lightweight Championship.
Win 5–0 Jose Figueroa KO (punch) Renaissance MMA 16 March 5, 2010 1 3:55 New Orleans, Louisiana, United States Defended the Renaissance MMA Lightweight Championship.
Win 4–0 Nabih Barakat KO (punches) Ring of Combat 28 February 19, 2010 1 1:09 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 3–0 Lee King Submission (anaconda choke) Renaissance MMA 15 November 20, 2009 1 2:04 New Orleans, Louisiana, United States Defended the Renaissance MMA Lightweight Championship.
Win 2–0 Lee King KO (punches) Renaissance MMA 12 June 13, 2009 2 1:14 New Orleans, Louisiana, United States Won the Renaissance MMA Lightweight Championship.
Win 1–0 Aaron Steadman TKO (flying knee and punches) Real Fighting Championships 17 April 17, 2009 1 3:34 Tampa, Florida, United States


Muay Thai & Kickboxing record[edit]

Muay Thai & Kickboxing record (incomplete)
25 Wins (22 (T)KO's), 3 Losses
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time
2007-11-10 Win Brazil Tadeu San Martino Demolition Fight VI, Final São Paulo, Brazil Decision 3 3:00
Wins Demolition Fight Grand Prix.
2007-11-10 Win Brazil Marfio Canoletti Demolition Fight VI, Semi Final São Paulo, Brazil KO (Punches) 1 2:46
2007-11-10 Win Brazil Marcos Rodrigues Demolition Fight VI, Quarter Final São Paulo, Brazil TKO (Doctor Stoppage) 1 3:00
2007-03-29 Loss Brazil Tadeu San Martino GP la Gara, Final Brazil KO (Punches) 3
2006-11-18 Win Brazil Jair Portilho Festival de Muay Thai Rio, Brazil KO 2
2006-09-23 Loss Brazil Bruno Carvalho Demolition Fight IV São Paulo, Brazil Decision 3 3:00
For the Demolition Fight -70kg title.
2005-10-10 Win Brazil Flavio Pardinho Demolition Fight II São Paulo, Brazil KO 3 1:11
Loss Brazil Bruno Carvalho AFC BR I Brazil Decision 5 3:00
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

See also[edit]


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