Edson Barboza won tonight’s battle of the strikers with Anthony Pettis at UFC 197, butchering his opponents lead leg and frequently landing his left hook throughout the fight en-route to a unanimous decision victory.

Round One:

One-two for Pettis is the first thing that lands significantly. Leg kick for Barboza and a punch from Pettis in return.

Uppercut attempt from Pettis. Pettis circles on the outside. Barboza feeling out with the jab then lands a left hook. Now a leg kick from him.

Another left hook attempt from Barboza. A couple of leg kicks for Pettis and now a right hand. Right and then a good left hook from Barboza. Another exchange and again Barboza connects with the left hook. That’s proving to be an effective weapon for him early in this fight.

Leg kick for Barboza. Leg kick for Pettis, body punch for Barboza. Solid overhand for Barboza. He lands a leg kick as Pettis comes in with a punch.

Short flurry in close from Pettis, but everytime he engages like that he has to be very careful not to get clipped with that hook.

Solid spinning back kick to the body from Barboza. Pettis comes in on a takedown attempt, but Barboza stuffs it.

Spinning head kick attempt from Pettis that doesn’t find the mark. Barboza with a leg kick. Jumping wheel kick attempt from Pettis. That would have been truly spectacular if it landed, but alas it didn’t, and that’s the end of the round.

Round Two:

Jumping roundhouse kick from Pettis to start – taking a leaf out of Yair Rodriguez’s playbook from earlier in the evening.

They exchange in close and Barboza gets the better of it thanks to that left hook again. Right hand connects for Pettis now as he steps in.

Pettis loads up on a right hand and misses which knocks him off-balance. Kick for Barboza. Pettis with a solid jab. He goes for a front kick to the body now.

Left and a right from Pettis. He jumps into a kick, but it doesn’t land with much impact. He picks out a nice jab there.

Jab for Barboza now. Pettis fires back with a punch. Spinning back kick misses for Barboza. One-two for PEttis and gets back out cleanly this time.

Little flurry for Barboza to the head, then body. Body punch and then a body kick too for Barboza. Nice from him, but then Pettis lands a solid right hand.

Good body kick for Pettis. One-two for him now. Right hook for Pettis, but Barboza counters with his left hook.

Pettis in on a takedown attempt, but Barboza easily stuffs it. Leg kick for Barboza. Right hand for Pettis and Barboza misses with the left hook this time.

Blasting leg kick from Barboza. Left and a right hand from Pettis. He lands a right hand, but gets countered by that Barboza hook again.

Flashy rolling kick from Pettis to end the round, but it doesn’t land cleanly.

Round Three:

360 turning side kick from Pettis to start the third, but it doesn’t land. Couple of leg kicks for Barboza. Another flashly kick attempt from Pettis doesn’t pay off.

He does land with a one-two, but then Barboza blasts back with a thunderous leg kick that knocks Pettis off his feet for a moment.

Punch for Pettis and a leg kick for Pettis in return. Barboza with another jab. Now an inside leg kick. Lot of movement from Pettis, but he’s struggling to find a way to get in on his opponent.

Brief stoppage for a low blow to Pettis. He’s soon back to it and eats a big leg kick and then a body kick from Barboza. The Brazilian is definitely getting the better of this round.

Nice punch for Barboza. Back to the leg kick. Pettis misses with a winging right hand. More kicks from Barboza. Head kick attempt from Pettis.

Body kick from Barboza and a counter punch from Pettis. Right hand from Pettis, but Barboza drills him with two kicks. Nice one-two from Pettis.

Another inside leg kick from Barboza. He doubles up on a left hook. Right hand for Pettis. Inside leg kick for Barboza, but Pettis catches him with two punches. Spinning kick from Barboza and then Pettis offers up a flashier one in return, but it doesn’t connect.

Decision:

Hard-fought stand-up battle as expected then, but Barboza seemed to have the edge, particularly in the final round and he wins by unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27).

Great win for Barboza, but a very disappointing night for former champion Pettis who’s now lost three in a row.

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