After nearly a year away from the cage, Michael Johnson came back better than ever, and he was just too good for Edson Barboza in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Johnson outstruck and outwrestled the Brazilian en route to a unanimous decision win (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Johnson’s speed, athleticism, and aggression provided Barboza with problems right from the start. By the end of the 1st round, Johnson’s fast hands bloodied the right side of Edson’s face and kept him on the move, back towards the cage at all times. The 2nd round was Barboza’s best round, which saw him land hard body kicks and score with effective countershots, but he was also stung by a combination and even saw an attempted takedown by the Brazilian end with himself getting put on his back.
Round 3 was more of the same as Johnson’s boxing abilities were too much for Barboza to overcome. A late takedown sealed the win over a clearly exhausted and outmatched Edson. It was an impressive performance by “The Menace”, who has now won 4 straight and angled for a fight with Ben Henderson in the post-fight interview. The #6 ranked Barboza slips to 6-3 in the UFC.
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