How did Barboza get the opportunity atop the card? It came as the result of one of the more memorable knockouts of a violent 2021 so far.
At UFC 262 in May, Barboza scored a third-round knockout of Shane Burgos in what was one of the wildest delayed-reaction finishes to ever happen inside the octagon.
Though the first two rounds of the featherweight bout, Barboza was getting the better of the striking exchanges. His left hands were damaging Burgos, and it all led to the wild finish. Just over a minute into the third round, the Brazilian connected on Burgos with a pair of rights that eventually sent him to the canvas – but after an odd delayed reaction of several seconds. Barboza followed up with ground-and-pound, but it was clear Burgos was out and the referee stopped the bout.
The victory pushed Barboza (22-9 MMA, 16-9 UFC) to 2-1 since he dropped to 145 pounds in May 2020, and gives him another crack at a UFC headliner after falling short in his first two chances. He takes on Chikadze (13-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC), who has yet to taste defeat inside the octagon.
To get prepared for UFC on ESPN 30 on Saturday, watch the entire Barboza vs. Burgos fight above, courtesy of the UFC.
Edson Barboza def. Shane Burgos at UFC 262: Best photos
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