There are numerous marquee match ups scheduled for the UFC 134: "Rio" main card, which will begin to air live on pay-per-view (PPV) tonight (Aug. 27, 2011) from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
And while most of the attention is focused on the "big three" fights atop the card, there is one lightweight match up -- Ross Pearson vs. Edson Barboza -- that could be a show stealer.
Pearson, winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 is never scared to mix it up, while Barboza -- a Muay Thai animal -- has only gone the distance once so far in eight professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts. He has won them all, too.
Submissions likely won't come into play when these two eventually touch gloves later this evening. In fact, expect them to go toe-to-toe until the first man falls.
If we're looking strictly at credentials, it would appear that "The Real Deal" is completely outmatched. Not only is he fighting in hostile territory, but he's also doing it against a man who many believe is the other mini Anderson Silva not named Jose Aldo.
Barboza is a decorated kickboxer who holds nearly two dozen (technical) knockout finishes in nearly 30 fights. He is powerful, dangerous and able to attack from all angles ... especially when he is able to tenderize the thighs of his opponents with lashing leg kicks.
Pearson, however, has shown tremendous growth with his stand up skills. Look no further than his convincing unanimous decision over German striker Dennis Siver and earning another nod from the judges over American pugilist Spencer Fisher.
He's as tough as they come, too.
Divisional implications are not on the line. This isn't any type of grudge match, either. It's simply a solid slugfest between two men who will likely give fans what they crave: A fun fight.
Perhaps even "Fight of the Night."