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Edson Barboza vs. Billy Quarantillo full fight preview | UFC Kansas City

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight finishers Edson Barboza and Billy Quarantillo will collide this weekend (Sat., April 15, 2023) at UFC Kansas City inside T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

At 37 years of age, the ship has sailed on Barboza ever challenging for a title, though he did come close to scoring such an opportunity in 2017 before running into that pesky Khabib fella. Still, it’s worth looking back at his career and recognizing the remarkably high level of competition he’s consistently fought in the past decade. He’s been in the cage with the best of the best, always putting forth his best effort. And the road doesn’t get any easier opposite Quarantillo, either, who’s really established himself as a premier Featherweight action fighter in the last couple years. He’s right on the cusp of a position in the rankings, and this could be his breakthrough moment.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 74 On ESPN+

HIGH STAKES FLYWEIGHT MATCHUP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns home to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., June 3, 2023, with No. 3-seeded contender, Kai Kara-France, face rising No. 7-ranked Amir Albazi. In UFC Vegas 74’s ESPN+-streamed co-main event, an exciting Featherweight bout sees No. 15-ranked contender, Alex Caceres, lock horns with all-action Daniel Pineda.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

Edson Barboza

Record: 22-11
Key Wins: Anthony Pettis (UFC 197), Gilbert Melendez (UFC on FOX 20), Dan Hooker (UFC on FOX 31), Beneil Dariush (UFC Fight Night 106), Paul Felder (UFC on FOX 16), Shane Burgos (UFC 262)
Key Losses: Bryce Mitchell (UFC 272), Giga Chikadze (UFC Vegas 35), Justin Gaethje (UFC on ESPN 2), Kevin Lee (UFC Fight Night 128), Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC 219), Tony Ferguson (TUF 22 Finale)
Keys to Victory: Barboza is one of the best kickers in UFC history, the only man to finish opponents via low kick, body kick, and head kick! He’s got real pop in his hands too, and when Barboza is able to play his game, he looks like a world-beater.

There is zero doubt that Quarantillo is going to pressure here. That’s his default game, and it’s the historic way to trouble Barboza. Barboza knows it, “Billy Q” knows it, the fans know it — there’s no mystery here.

The question then becomes how well Barboza can avoid the cage and keep his space. Sometimes, Barboza has done a nice job of pivoting off rather than backing up, which could be hugely effective here. I’d really like to see more front kicks from Barboza too, as his legs are more than strong enough to push Quarantillo back.

Barboza’s ability to maintain composure will be absolutely key. Quarantillo’s general approach involves pushing such a pace that both men are exhausted then gutting his way to victory. It works because he’s such a tough grinder, but if Barboza can remain calm through the exhaustion and pick his spots, Quarantillo leaves himself exposed as the fight grows more wild and chaotic.

Billy Quarantillo

Record: 17-4
Key Wins: Gabriel Benitez (UFC Vegas 31), Alexander Hernandez (UFC 282), Spike Carlyle (UFC on ESPN 9), Kyle Nelson (UFC Vegas 10)
Key Losses: Shane Burgos (UFC 268), Gavin Tucker (UFC 256)
Keys to Victory: Quarantillo’s development in a short time has been impressive. He began his UFC career as a pretty straightforward grinding grappler, but since his first UFC loss, he’s really focused on and developed his kickboxing skill.

As a result, he’s now pretty formidable everywhere!

Again, pressure is the very clear strategy here. Barboza falters and fatigues in the face of heavy pressure, and his kicks are far less effective when he’s forced to his back foot. It doesn’t really matter whether Barboza’s opponent is trying to wrestle or strike, so long as they pressure, the Brazilian tends to have a difficult time.

Fortunately for Quarantillo, he can improve his odds even further by doing both! He’s got a heavy right hand, hard kicks, and strong wrestling game. If he can force Barboza into a reactive state from the threat of all those weapons, his chances at picking up a win are quite high.

Bottom Line

A Top 15 Featherweight position is on the line.

Barboza enters at the No. 14 position, and he’s been ranked for a mighty long time. He briefly climbed high and threatened the Top Five at 145-pounds, but consecutive losses have sent him back down the ladder. At this point, a title run seems wildly unlikely, leaving Barboza in gatekeeper position.

Will Quarantillo pass the test? That’s the real question of this match up. Barboza’s position is unlikely to change all that much either way, as he’s established enough to survive a losing streak. Quarantillo, however, has the opportunity to pick up the best win of his career and put a number next to his name in the process.

At UFC Kansas City, Edson Barboza and Billy Quarantillo will go to war in the co-main event. Which man will have his hand raised?

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Las Vegas fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN/ESPN+) at 8:30 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Kansas City: “Holloway vs. Allen” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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