Leading up to a May meeting with Jamie Varner, 26-year old Brazilian Edson Barboza was seen as one of the UFC’s brightest prospects based on an unbeaten record, success against a number of notable opponents, and one of the most amazing knockouts in the organization’s history. However, his hype took a major hit after Varner stopped him with strikes before their bout’s opening round had expired.
Now that Barboza has had a few months off to heal up both physically and emotionally he’s ready to rumble again and hopes the UFC finds him a fight before the calendar rolls over into 2013.
“I still hope to fight this year. I have no injuries and I’m training hard. But I’m an employee, so when they think it’s time I’ll be ready,” said Barboza in an interview with TATAME, maintaining a positive attitude in saying he would simply use any additional time to polish his craft.
While Barboza is not expecting an immediate rematch with Varner, the thought of crossing paths with the former WEC champion has entered his mind on more than one occasion.
“What’s gone is gone. But of course it would be a fight I’d like to do later, even because I didn’t do my best and he found me first, so I couldn’t show how prepared I was,” admitted the 10-1 Barboza. “But if I have another chance things will be different. I’d let go and really go for it.”
Prior to his lone loss Barboza had strung together consecutive instances of success against the likes of Anthony Njoukuani, Ross Pearson, and Terry Etim (who he notoriously finished with a Spinning Heel Kick earning him Knockout of the Night honors and an ESPY nod).
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC