Undefeated young Brazilian prospect Edson Barboza has climbed his way to the main card with two memorable performances inside the UFC.
The 25-year-old Barboza will face English striker Ross Pearson this Saturday night on the main card of UFC 134, where he’ll look to pick up his third win in the promotion and ninth overall. Having displayed absolutely brutal muay Thai prowess in victories over Mike Lullo and Anthony Njokuani, Barboza has officially hit the lightweight radar and he recently told Sherdog.com that he’s quite pleased with his progress.
“It’s nice to see how things are developing for me,” said Barboza. “First I fought on the preliminary card, with no TV, then they put me on Spike TV’s card, and now I’m fighting on the main card, with worldwide pay-per-view.”
UFC 134 will mark the first card that the UFC has brought to Brazil since 1998 and the promotion has packed it with Brazilian talent. From main eventer Anderson Silva, to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Barboza will be sharing the stage with some of Brazil’s most prominent and respected fighters and the significance is not lost on him.
“I was talking the other day with my wife Bruna and Luiz Cane, still in disbelief that we will be in the weigh-in line beside ‘Minotauro,’ Anderson Silva, ‘Shogun’,” said Barboza. “I think I’ll only believe it after it happens. It’s a dream to be in the lineup with those guys.”
Of those men, Barboza readily points to Minotauro, a former PRIDE champion and longtime veteran of the sport, as his main source of national pride and inspiration.
“I’m a huge fan of Rodrigo ‘Minotauro.’ I always get nervous, my hands starts sweating when he fights. He is a guy that, when he gets punched, it’s like I’ve got punched too,” he said. “He is, without a doubt, my greatest idol in MMA.”
Barboza will jump in league with the big dogs this Saturday night at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. Don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.