Edson Barboza wants his next fight to be against a top-five featherweight contender. And ideally Max Holloway, who he says is the best featherweight in the UFC.
Top-Five Opponent Next
Barboza jumped up four places in the UFC featherweight rankings to number nine with a third-round knockout victory against Shane Burgos this past weekend at UFC 262, and he now wants a crack at someone in the top-five, he told MMA Fighting.
“I want to fight a top-five, man,” Barboza said. “I think I deserve to fight a top-five given my history in the UFC. Something that motivates me to call for a top-five opponent is knowing that it will be a great fight.”
Max Holloway Call Out
The 35 year old wants to compete against the best featherweights in the world, and has named Calvin Kattar, ‘The Korean Zombie’, and Yair Rodriguez as possible opponents in the future. However, Holloway is at the top of his hit list.
“I love to fight the best,” Barboza said. “Can you imagine a fight between Max Holloway and I? I’m a huge fan of Holloway, I love his fights, he’s one of my favourite fighters. It would be awesome, man.”
Holloway last fought at UFC Fight Island 7, when he punished Kattar for five rounds to earn a clear-cut unanimous decision victory. Barboza said that it would be a pleasure to share the Octagon with the Hawaiian.
“I honestly don’t know if he wants to stay active or wait for the belt,” Barboza said. “But it would be a pleasure to fight him.”
Holloway’s The Best Featherweight
Although ‘Blessed’ is no longer the champion, Barboza believes he’s still the best featherweight in the promotion, and a fight between the two would be a ‘war’.
“It would be a war,” Barboza said. “Imagine five rounds of brawl. We would definitely break each other in there, just like [my] last fight, and it would be a great fight. I would want it to be over soon so I could go back to my room and watch it. I’m sure it would be a war.
“He’s the best in this division. He’s not the champion, but he continues to be the best in this division. I think he won his last fight [against Alex Volkanovski]. The first one was close, you could have given it to Volkanovski, okay, but I think he won the second one.”
Move To Featherweight
Barboza went 1-4 in his last five fights at lightweight, before he moved down to featherweight, where he feels reinvigorated.
“I think I’m more motivated than I was at lightweight,” Barboza said. “Many years there, some fights there I was just fighting, making my money and that’s it, you know? When I moved down to featherweight I felt extra motivation, a new beginning.
“It’s easier because I don’t have to kill myself during camp. I train too much and I’m skinny, I lose weight too easily, so I had to eat bacon every day and eat pasta every night to keep my weight up. I’m healthier now, I eat healthy food all the time now. [I don’t miss bacon] because I had to eat it every day. That’s the problem. I can still eat if I want to, but I don’t have to, you know?”
Would you be interested in a fight between Edson Barboza and Max Holloway?