For 24 bout veteran Edson Barboza, it’s been a long journey to get to where he is. Recording 15 Octagon victories have been no easy task. The Rio de Janeiro native as he is approaching the end of his fight contract following a unanimous decision victory over Makwan Amirkhani at UFC Fight Night two weeks ago. The dark side of his situation is that he had a three-fight losing streak beforehand dating back to March of 2019. It could be a tough call for UFC brass to decide whether or not they decide to resign Barboza for more money.
“I see a lot of guys that start signing right now with the UFC and make a lot more money than me,” Barboza told MMAJunkie.com. “I work for UFC for 10 years. I have 24 fights in UFC. I have 10 bonuses. That’s crazy if you think about that. Something’s wrong. I was very happy. Very happy with my job, very happy with UFC and everything, but right now I have to see what’s best for me and my family. I was really happy with everything in the UFC. But I really deserve more.”
Barboza made his debut with the company back on November 20, 2010, with a third-round TKO win over Mike Lullo at UFC 123. He’s finished seven of his 15 fights by way of KO/TKO, with a majority of them using leg strikes. He holds wins over Ross Pearson, Anthony Pettis, Anthony Njokwani, Dan Hooker, and Gilbert Melendez. His key losses come from Donald Cerrone, Jamie Varner, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, and Justin Gaethje. If one were to weigh in on whether or not re-signing Barboza would be a good idea, they would have to look at who he’s faced, beaten, and been beaten by.
This is a tough decision to make to see if he’s worthy to finish his career in the UFC or start a clean slate in another promotion. As thankful as the Brazilian is for being able to stick out a 30-fight MMA career at 34, it’s probably best for him to come up with the best case possible for him to negotiate his way to remain a mainstay under the Endeavor umbrella. Not to mention, fight to earn that chance.
With a contract fight looming in the air, besides training and fighting for his UFC life, what other ways can the American Top Team product do to stay alive in his UFC and MMA career? With a respectable $1 million in earnings, he has also earned the respect of his peers as a finisher and a tough customer in the featherweight division.