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UFC Fight Night 57 fight card: Bobby Green vs Edson Barboza fight preview

Two of the division's best strikers in Bobby Green and Edson Barboza will collide this Saturday (Nov. 22, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 57 inside the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Between two men with such different styles, what adjustments must be made for either man in order to claim victory? Find out how below!

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweights Bobby Green and Edson Barboza look to take another step closer to the title this Saturday (Nov. 22, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 57 inside the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

It seems Bobby Green's main mission on this planet is too prove the oddsmakers wrong. In three of his four Octagon appearances, Green was a fairly significant underdog, but he remains undefeated inside the UFC.

Barboza is perhaps the nastiest kicker to ever step foot into the Octagon. The Muay Thai glass cannon is capable of finishing foes in spectacular fashion with a single strike, but is also quite vulnerable to his opponent's offense, which makes every fight exciting.

Let's take a look at the keys to victory for each fighter.

Bobby Green

Record: 23-5

Key Wins: Josh Thomson (UFC on FOX 12), Pat Healy (UFC on FOX 9), Jacob Volkmann (UFC 156)

Key Losses: None

Keys to Victory: Green is one of the smoothest boxers in the UFC, bobbing and weaving more successfully than a huge majority of fighters. In addition to his eight knockout victories, Green's wrestling background and improved jiu-jitsu have lead him to nine submission victories.

Recently, Green left for Stockton to train with the Diaz brothers. Though entering the 209 will not help with Green's ability to defend kicks, his boxing skills and conditioning will definitely be sharpened.

In this bout, Green's ability to remain unpredictable with his offense will be very important. Thus far, Barboza has seriously struggled against both Jamie Varner and Danny Castillo, two powerful wrestlers with strong offensive boxing.

Though Green usually just boxes with his foe unless his opponent initiates the grappling exchange, he'd be wise to mix in some takedown attempts here. Not only will that make Barboza a bit more hesitant to kick, but it could cause the Brazilian to drop his hands and leave himself open to punches.

Combinations will also be key here. Barboza will look to maintain a longer range than Green, meaning he'll have to close the distance. If Green attacks with lengthy combinations -- a Diaz brother specialty -- he should have more success landing on Barboza with the latter punches in his combos.

Edson Barboza

Record: 14-2

Key Wins: Evan Dunham (UFC Fight Night 45), Danny Castillo (UFC on FOX 9), Terry Etim (UFC 142)

Key Losses: Donald Cerrone (UFC on FOX 11), Jamie Varner (UFC 146)

Keys to Victory: Barboza is an extremely vicious striker and essentially a specialist. He rarely attempts a takedown or displays an advanced understanding of jiu-jitsu, as Barboza is too busy picking apart his opponent on the feet.

His record boasts nine painful knockout victories.

Thus far, Green has been able to successful avoid most of his opponent's punches by rolling out of the way and deflecting shots. Luckily, Barboza comes equipped with the perfect tool to disable that part of Green's game: his kicks.

In general, boxing style head movement is much more difficult to utilize once kicks are involved. It simply becomes harder to shift one's head around when slipping to the wrong direction could lead to getting kicked in the skull, which is precisely what happened to Marlon Sandro at the shins of Pat Curran.

With his ability to roll severely reduced, Green is a much less exceptional striker. Though Green is always dangerous, Barboza would then be at a clear advantage on his feet.

Plus, each kick to the legs or body helps take a bit away from Green's explosiveness and conditioning. As the fight wears on, Barboza will be able to build upon his advantage until he can really open up with his offense.

When that happens, violence follows.

Bottom Line: These two athletes are both quite entertaining, young enough to develop further, and already capable of defeating top-10 fighters. With all that in mind, it's not unlikely that the winner finds himself in a title eliminator bout sooner rather than later.

This is especially true for Green. "King" has been on quite the tear inside the Octagon and joins a pretty small list of excellent names who carry a victory over Josh Thomson. If there wasn't an insane amount of title contenders already at lightweight, Green would definitely be within two fights of the strap.

Unfortunately for Green, a loss would eliminate much of the momentum he has gained. In a division as talent-rich as lightweight, a single loss sends fighters way back to the end of the line.

After a questionable decision over Castillo and quick loss to Cerrone, Barboza got back on track with his victory over Dunham. The violent nature of Barboza's fight style and finishes allow him to gain ground quickly, but Barboza would not be in immediate title contention with a win here.

It would certainly be a solid start.

On the other hand, a loss here -- particularly a finish -- would likely signal the end of the idea of Barboza as a future contender. Getting relegated to action fighter status isn't the worst fate, but Barboza definitely would prefer to be successful with his title aspirations

At UFC Fight Night 57, Bobby Green and Edson Barboza will slug it out. Which man will leave the Octagon with a victory?

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