Initially targeted to meet with fellow former lightweight contender, Jeremy ‘Lil’ Heathen’ Stephens at a UFC Fight Night event on October 3rd. – Muay Thai ace, Edson ‘Junior’ Barboza is now earmarked to meet with surging division upstart, ‘Super’ Sodiq Yussuf a week later at a UFC Fight Night event on October 10th. A location and venue for the card are yet to be determined by the promotion.
A pairing of the aforenoted Stephens and Barboza was in the works for the October 3rd. event, however, the former has reportedly decided against a quick turnaround following his nasty knockout defeat to Calvin Kattar in May, postponing his would be thirty-fourth UFC appearance – as he attempts to successfully hit the featherweight scales following a botched weight-cut opposite the aforenoted, Kattar.
Also featuring at a UFC Fight Night Jacksonville event in May, Brazilian veteran, Barboza made his first appearance at 145-pounds – losing a close decision to Dan Ige in a co-main event bout.
27-year-old Lagos feature, Yusuff made his most recent Octagon walk at UFC 246 in December – taking a unanimous decision triumph when paired with division mainstay, Andre ‘Touchy’ Fili. Combate reporter, Raphael Marinho was first to report the shelved attempted pairing of Stephens and Barboza, as well as the reworked tie of the latter and Yusuff.
Losing five of his last six UFC outings, Nova Friburgo native, Barboza looks to finally return to the win column, as he features at featherweight for just the second time in his lengthy ten year promotional stint.
The recognisable striking artist has secured twelve career finishes via knockout, including organizational stoppages of Dan Hooker, Beniel Dariush, Evan Dunham, Rafaello Oliveira, Lucas Martins, and Terry Etim. Also on the American Top Team trainee’s winning record – decision wins over former world champions, Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez.
A product of Dana White’s Contender Series back in July of 2018 – promotional perfect upstart, Yusuff has established a 4-0 organizational record.
With eleven wins and just a single professional blemish, Nigerian powerhouse, Yusuff has managed Octagon wins over Suman Mokhtarian, Sheymon Moraes, Gabriel Benítez, and his biggest win to date, his decision victory over Fili.