Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweights Bobby Green and Edson Barboza looked to move toward a 155-pound title shot last night (Sat., Nov. 22, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 57 inside Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
Considering all of the horrific events going on in his personal life, Green's success inside the Octagon has been extraordinary. Last night, Green competed in what may have been his retirement, and "King" definitely wanted to potentially go out with a bang.
Barboza has been consistently bringing violence into the cage, win or lose. However, he really needed to begin building a win streak at the expense of Green if he wanted to become a title challenger.
He certainly looked the part last night.
Green chased Barboza around for much of the round, standing quite square in order to check his opponent's low kicks. Throughout the round, Green continued taunting his opponent and playing off his opponent's strikes. Though many of Barboza's punches slipped off Green's guard, he did land a number of powerful kicks.
Additionally, Green was not able to get his combinations going and did not attempt any takedowns, aside from catching a single leg kick.
To open the second round, Barboza rocked Green with a right hand, though "King" waved him on. Afterward, Barboza landed his wheel kick, although Green survived it.
After this flurry, Barboza seemed to slow down a bit. He was still landing the better shots, but Green managed to land some punches of his own for the final minutes of the round.
He managed to land some hard strikes when he planted, but Barboza coasted for much of the third round. He landed some solid counters early, but it did so little to deter Green from moving forward that Barboza eventually just got on his bike for a majority of the round.
Unfortunately for Green, he wasn't able to make anything happen during that time frame. He landed some nice punches, but Barboza was never rocked and kept moving, making it especially difficult for Green to really do damage.
Barboza's movement in this bout was excellent. It may not have been spectacularly entertaining, but Barboza soundly out-struck his opponent for much of the fight. He also got to show off some off the flashier attacks that he is known for, including his spinning wheel kick.
In addition, Barboza stuck to his game plan expertly. Green is phenomenal at baiting his opponent into playing his game, but Barboza remained calm throughout and kept kicking his opponent.
Barboza is in a weird spot in the division. Due to his flash knockout/submission loss, he's not in immediate title contention, even if he performs like a top five fighter. Assuming Jorge Masvidal wins his next bout, that could be an excellent match up, as the lightweight division's top 10 is largely booked.
Green was game throughout the fight, but he just couldn't keep up with Barboza. Since he stood so square to avoid his opponent's debilitating low kicks, he had a tough time cutting off the cage and was much easier to punch. It was a risky decision and -- sadly for Green -- it simply didn't pay off.
"King" also would've likely done better if he had incorporated takedowns into his offense. Barboza has been troubled by wrestle-boxers in his past, and Green definitely could have molded his game to fit that style.
Hopefully, Green decides not to retire -- he's still one of the best lightweights in the world. After this loss, it may be best for Green to face off with a fighter just outside the Top 15 such as Gleison Tibau.
At UFC Fight Night 57, Edson Barboza picked apart Bobby Green for a decision victory. Can Barboza work his way to the top despite his defense liabilities?
For complete UFC Fight Night 57 "Edgar vs Swanson" results and play-by-play click HERE.