Undefeated up-and-coming Featherweight contender, Bryce Mitchell (No. 11), was looking to finally crack into the Top 10 at the expense of No. 10-seeded contender, Edson Barboza, at UFC 272, which is taking place tonight (Sat., March 5, 2022) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It was a clash of Old School vs. New School, with Barboza on UFC’s roster for more than a decade, while Mitchell made his debut back in 2018. And, in the end, it was the latter (Mitchell) who proved victorious, registering a clear-cut unanimous decision after 15 minutes of domination.
Mitchell opens up with an inside leg kick, but then Edson countered with two huge, much better kicks. Edson with another inside low kick, with Mitchell trying to cut him off along the fence, looking to get the fight horizontal. Another low kick from Edson, with Mitchell whiffing on a right cross counter. Solid jab from Edson, which Mitchell countered with a huge right hand that put the Brazilian on his butt. Mitchell pounced as Edson tried to get back to his feet, but “Thug Nasty” dragged him to the bottom of the fence and started to rain down ground-and-pound from closed guard. Mitchell postured up, landing some elbows, then working the body and some short uppercuts that snuck through. Edson tried to push him away, but Mitchell drilled him with an elbow to the bridge of the nose. Edson tried to control the wrists, finally getting to his feet with 40 seconds remaining in the round. Body shot from Edson, then he missed with a spinning back kick along the fence. Edson finished strong, but clearly he is behind one round.
Edson going back to the inside leg kick well early, with Mitchell wanting no part of it, scoring a takedown just 30 seconds into the second stanza. Mitchell covered up his airway from guard, hitting him with annoying soft shots to the temple. Edson tied up his wrists once again, but Mitchell was able to posture up and land a another hard elbow that opened up the Brazilian. Mitchell dragged him to the fence and continued to just suffocate him with immense pressure from top position. Edson tried to push him off from butterfly guard and was eventually able to make it back to his feet ... only for Mitchell to drag him right back down. With about one minute remaining, Mitchell secured full mount, with Edson rolling to his side trying to avoid the incessant punishment — more than 100 ground strikes. More elbows from Mitchell, and a kick for good measure, as the round came to a close.
Down two rounds, Edson needed a finish if he wanted to leave “Sin City” victorious. Unfortunately for him, the third and final frame was more of the same — a Mitchell mauling. The third round started off as a kickboxing match, but just one minute in, Mitchell had him on his back once again.
It was a truly impressive performance from Mitchell, who sat out a full year and returned to dominate one of the most dynamic strikers the Octagon has ever seen. He will undoubtedly be in the Top 10 next week and if he keeps on winning, the Top 5 in short order.
“Thug Nasty” is legit.
Final result: Mitchell def. Barboza via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27)
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