|Born||January 21, 1986|
Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||145.5 lb (66.0 kg; 10.39 st)|
|Reach||75 in (190 cm)|
|Style||Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Team||Ricardo Almeida BJJ|
American Top Team
|Trainer||Muay Thai: Anderson França|
Boxing: Mark Henry
Jiu-Jitsu: Ricardo Almeida
|Rank||Black prajied in Muay Thai |
Black belt in Taekwondo
Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Almeida
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Edson Mendes Barboza Jr. (born January 21, 1986) is a Brazilian 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. As of September 22, 2020, he is #14 in the UFC featherweight rankings.
Mixed martial arts career
Barboza comes from Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro. He was born prematurely at 28 weeks and given a 50/50 chance of surviving past infancy. At the age of 8, he began practicing and competing in Muay Thai. His professional Muay Thai record is 25-3, with 22 victories by knockout and 17 first-round finishes. 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
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.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Barboza was expected to make his UFC debut against Darren Elkins on November 20, 2010, at UFC 123. However, Elkins was forced from the card with an injury and replaced by newcomer Mike Lullo. Shortly into the third round, Barboza defeated Lullo by TKO due to leg kicks (for the first time in UFC history).
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. The win earned Barboza his first Knockout of the Night and 'Fight of the Night bonus awards
Barboza was expected to face Evan Dunham on May 26, 2012, at UFC 146, but Dunham dropped out of the bout due to injury and was replaced by returning veteran Jamie Varner. 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. However, Salas was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by promotional newcomer Lucas Martins. 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. 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. 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. Both fighters earned Fight of the Night honors.
Barboza faced Donald Cerrone on April 19, 2014, at UFC on Fox 11. 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.
Barboza was expected to face Myles Jury on July 25, 2015, at UFC on Fox 16, replacing an injured Anthony Pettis. However, Jury himself had to pull out due to injury and was subsequently replaced by undefeated Paul Felder. Barboza won the fight via unanimous decision and earned his fifth Fight of the Night bonus award. UFC President Dana White gave Barboza and Felder high praise afterwards, calling the fight "incredible."
Barboza faced Tony Ferguson on December 11, 2015, at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale, replacing an injured Khabib Nurmagomedov. 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. Both fighters earned Fight of the Night honors.
After the loss to Ferguson, Barboza decided to move to New Jersey to train at Mark Henry's and Ricardo Almeida's MMA team. Barboza faced Anthony Pettis on April 23, 2016, at UFC 197. He won via unanimous decision.
Barboza faced Beneil Dariush on March 11, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 106. He won the fight via knockout due to a flying knee in the second round. Subsequently, he earned his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
Barboza faced Kevin Lee on April 21, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 128. 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. Barboza lost the fight via doctor stoppage at 2:18 of the fifth round.
After losing two consecutive fights, Barboza decided to return to Florida and American Top Team.
Barboza faced Paul Felder in a rematch on September 7, 2019 at UFC 242. He lost the fight by a controversial split decision. 13 out of 16 MMA media outlets scored the bout in favor of Barboza, and subsequently the decision was appealed to be overturned. UFC, working in lieu of an athletic commission, denied the appeal.
On December 31, 2019, Barboza announced his intent to move down to the Featherweight division. He was expected to face Josh Emmett in a featherweight bout on May 2, 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Weidman. However, on April 9, Dana White announced that the event had been postponed. Instead Barboza faced Dan Ige on May 16, 2020 at UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris. He lost the back-and-forth bout via split decision.
Barboza was expected to face Sodiq Yusuff on October 11, 2020 at UFC Fight Night 179. However, Yusuff pulled out of the fight on September 22 for undisclosed reasons, and he was replaced by Makwan Amirkhani. He won the fight via unanimous decision.
Described as a "dyed-in-the-wool striker," Barboza is known for his dangerous kicking game. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan has stated that Barboza is "probably the best kicker in MMA." 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). Barboza is also known for his effective use of switch kicks, which have been labeled "exceptionally quick" and "ferocious."
Barboza and his wife, Bruna, have a son, Noah and a daughter named Victoria.
Championships and achievements
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Fight of the Night (Seven times) vs. Anthony Njokuani, Ross Pearson, Terry Etim, Danny Castillo, Paul Felder, Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje 
- Performance of the Night (One time) vs. Beneil Dariush 
- Knockout of the Night (One time) vs. Terry Etim 
- Tied (with Melvin Guillard) for most knockout victories in UFC Lightweight division history (seven)
- Renaissance MMA
- Renaissance MMA Lightweight Championship (One time)
- Two successful title defenses
- Ring of Combat
- Ring of Combat Lightweight Championship (One time)
- ESPY Award
- World MMA Awards
- 2012 Knockout of the Year
- Inside MMA
- Bazzie Award for KO Kick of the Year (2012) vs. Terry Etim
- 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 Wrestling Champion (São João da Barra)
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|30 matches||21 wins||9 losses|
|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||TKO (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|
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