UFC 142 results recap: Edson Barboza vs Terry Etim fight review and analysis

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JANUARY 14: Edson Barboza (L) knocks out Terry Etim (R) with a spinning back kick in a lightweight bout during UFC 142 at HSBC Arena on January 14, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Before his UFC 142 main card opening bout against Terry Etim last night (January 14, 2012), lightweight Edson Barboza stated, "If I get the opportunity to knock him out, I'll knock him out."

Never have truer words been spoken.

After landing a smattering of leg and body kicks, Barboza went high and it might have resulted in one of the greatest knockouts in UFC history.

So how did the budding Brazilian lightweight star pull it off? And what's next for both men?

Right off the bat, Etim's gameplan was evident as he shot in for a takedown, but even though he was able to pub Barboza on his back briefly, the Brazilian striker repeatedly popped back to his feet very quickly.

They key for Barboza's ability to get back up was the fact that he immediately would sweep Etim with his butterfly guard, rolling him over before exploding back to standing position. It had to be very frustrating for Etim to see his efforts get wasted in such a manner.

Perhaps driven by the failure to keep Barboza down and work his submission game, Etim decided to stand and trade with the diverse striker. This was a really, really, really bad idea. As the threat of the takedown dissipated, Barboza became more and more comfortable, and that meant lots of leg kicks.

The fighter training out of The Armory began to get much more aggressive as the fight wore on, peppering Etim with both inside and outside kicks on his lead left leg as well as occasionally throwing right hands to the body as well as the head.

By the third round of this, Etim had slowed down from the leg kicks and had also become accustomed to them. Even worse, he spent about 15 seconds in the perfect range of Barboza without threatening any attack whatsoever, this granted the Brazilian the perfect opportunity to try something crazy.

Well he tried it, and damn, it was nasty.

With Etim at the ideal distance, Barboza planted on his left leg and spun backwards with a devastating wheel kick and the heel of his foot collided firmly into Etim's jaw, knocking him out instantly.

In fact, as Ben Thapa mentioned, Etim may have been the most knocked out of anyone we'd ever seen.

For Terry Etim, hopefully he's okay but he's going to have one hell of a headache today. He was able to secure some takedowns but his inability to keep Barboza down or work any of his reputable submission game cost him big time. He's got decent Muay Thai skills, but he was nowhere in Barboza's league last night in terms of striking skills and the Brazilian put an exclamation point on it with the finish. Etim has to work on finishing those takedowns so he can keep his opponents down rather than quickly getting swept.

Potential future opponents for Etim should include Yves Edwards, Paul Taylor or perhaps veteran Spencer Fisher.

For Edson Barboza, he was already hailed a fighter to keep an eye on in the lightweight division, but this was an immaculate performance. The finish to this fight will be talked about for years to come and will be seen on highlight reels for all time. It was that good. This kid is something special if granted an opening, and he proved it. Now it's time to see how he can do against some top 20 competition as he continues to move up the lightweight food chain.

Potential next opponents for Barboza include Nate Diaz, Gleison Tibau or perhaps the winner of Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon. Either way, we're going to see what this kid is really made of very soon.

So what did you think, Maniacs?

Was this one of the greatest knockouts you've ever seen? Could Barboza be a potential title contender in the lightweight division?

Sound off!

For complete UFC 142 results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire event as well as immediate post-fight reaction click here, here and here.

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