Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight studs Edson Barboza and Beneil Dariush threw down last night (March 11, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 106 inside Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Barboza’s potential to be a champion has been clear since his early UFC fights, but the Brazilian has slipped up a couple times along the way. Heading into this match, however, Barboza was looking more dangerous and consistent than ever as he looked to inch closer to a title shot.
Meanwhile, Dariush has climbed the ranks quickly to prove himself a top 10 contender. The well-rounded jiu-jitsu ace has proven to be a crafty and smart athlete, and he was forced to rely on those skills last night.
Dariush came out swinging, and Barboza was more than willing to answer. Dariush fired his left overhand relentlessly and landed it a fair amount, but Barboza responded with brutal counter punches as well. Before long, Dariush began to land more consistently, throwing in combination and digging kicks to the lead leg.
Combinations and pressure were the name of the game for Dariush, who never allowed his opponent to settle. Barboza picked his spots to land a few nice kicks, but for the most part retreated and allowed his opponent to dictate the pace and range.
It was a strong opening round for Dariush.
Barboza opened the second round with a stinging combination and heavy kick, but Dariush simply absorbed the strikes and kept going. While he was landing effectively, the rapid pace was starting to slow the exchanges, which really benefited the Brazilian. Barboza was now gaining opportunities to lead and find a home for his low kick.
Despite the slight momentum shift, Dariush was still doing good work. Unfortunately for him, it only takes one mistake opposite the Muay Thai expert. As Dariush looked to level change following a jab, Barboza read his movement and jumped into a knee.
Dariush hit the mat with no signs of movement.
Barboza was seriously tested in this match up. The first round was very rough for him, as he absorbed a great deal of hard punches and even kicks. Barboza was not able to find many moments to work; he was simply stuck eating shots.
In the second round, as Dariush’s pace slowed, that began to change. Barboza was not yet winning, but he began to land some low kicks and lead more often. This change of pace allowed Barboza to read his opponent more effectively and set up his counter shots.
Safe to say this one landed perfectly.
Barboza is currently on the best win streak of his career. Next up for him should be a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, as the Brazilian is deserving of a title eliminator match.
Dariush fought brilliantly. He worked some very high level combinations and did good damage, looking for the knockout blow or takedown the entire fight. At the end of the day, however, Dariush lost this bout because he pushed a pace he was not able to maintain. He fought Barboza the correct way, but slowing down — even a little — gives the knockout artist his chance to storm back quickly.
Despite the loss, Dariush definitely proved himself as one of Lightweight’s elite athletes.
Aside from the fighters themselves, this was a highly interesting match up of Mark Henry’s distance/movement-based striking opposite Rafael Cordeiro’s brutal offensive Muay Thai. Both fighters showed the habits of their coaches’ style, and both showed the strengths and weaknesses. For example, Barboza’s movement allowed him to measure range and set up the knockout blow, but he struggled in the pocket. Dariush, on the other hand, thrives at biting down on his mouth piece and trading, but ultimately his offense first style cost him big.
Last night at UFC Fight Night 106, Edson Barboza extended his win streak with a massive knockout. Is Barboza a future champion?
For complete UFC Fight Night 106 “Belfort vs Gastelum” results and play-by-play, click HERE!