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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Edson Barboza after knockout loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC on ESPN 2?

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC on ESPN 2 blew the roof off Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., last Saturday night (March 30, 2019). Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Michael Johnson, who was knocked out cold by Josh Emmett in the final moments of a fight “The Menace” was well on his way to winning (see it again here). And David Branch, who was submitted in less than one minute by Jack Hermansson (highlights).

But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Edson Barboza.

Going into his headlining Lightweight fight against Justin Gaethje, all that was expected was pure violence, as both men are two of the hardest hitters and most exciting competitors in the sport. And they didn’t disappoint, as the they went at it for the little time the much-anticipated fight lasted.

Happy to exchange leg kicks early on, both men did eventually swing for the fences, with Justin getting the better of the striking exchanges. As usual, “The Highlight” pushed the pace, forcing Barboza to backtrack, all while still trying to dish out some offense. While “Junior” did manage to get in some licks, Gaethje seemed to be the one imposing his will.

During a break off the cage, Barboza — who seemed to be bothered by an unintentional eye poke — stepped away with his hands down, which was enough to give Gaethje the opening to clip his foe with a sneaky right hook that put him out for the count. And as quickly as the violence began, it ended.

For Barboza, the loss is his third in last four outings, though they have come against the cream of the crop such as Gaethje, Kevin Lee and current Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Still, a win would’ve done so much for the Brazilian bomber’s career, who has been unable to get over the hump to get to his first-ever UFC title fight. Plus, his current win-loss ratio over his last few fights is the worst of his career.

That said, he got a huge win in life as he went home shortly after his fight just in time to witness the birth of his baby daughter.

Still, Barboza has plenty to offer the fight game despite being 1-3 in his last four fights. And if anyone is foolish enough to think he can’t knock his block off, they are more than welcome to sign on the dotted line to face one of the most lethal strikers in the game today.

As for what could be next for him, perhaps a fight against James Vick is in order. “The Texecutioner” also recently suffered a knockout loss to Gaethje in Aug. 2018, and is in desperate need of a win after dropping two in a row. Like Barboza, Vick prefers to stand-and-bang, so it will be another treat for fight fans and give “Junior” the chance to once again show off his striking and bounce himself back into the win column.

Any objections?

For complete UFC “Philadelphia” results and coverage click here.

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