Edson Barboza manufactured an impressive come-from-behind decision victory over Sodiq Yusuff tonight at UFC Fight Night 230 after being badly hurt by his opponent in the opening round.
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Jab for Yusuff. In close they go to work. Jumping knee from Barboza. Yusuff pressuring now and looking confident.
Yusuff lands a big punch and Barboza goes down. He’s hurt but does manage to get back up. Yusuff back to throwing serious heavy leather and he lands a heavy right hook twice. Barboza surviving for now, but still looks a bit shell-shocked.
Yusuff not giving Barboza time and space to recover. He eventually works into the clinch against the cage, then pulls him away from the cage as he lands a takedown.
Yusuff posturing up. Barboza scrambling and looking for a leg lock to try to sweep. Yusuff wise to it though and stays on top.
Yusuff in half-guard now and drops and elbow down. Barboza gets him to full guard. Yusuff stacks up but doesn’t commit to offense. Yusuff passes to half-guard. Barboza struggling to get out from underneath. Right hands from Yusuff now. Barboza counters with a leg lock attempt, but Yusuff is able to pull it free and stands over his opponent.
Barboza postured up over him and landing ground-and-pound blows, then goes into his full guard to end the round.
Low kick for Barboza is checked. short punches from Barboza in close. He lands a couple of hooks as Yusuff comes forward.
Barboza swings for the fences and misses but lands a spinning kick to the body. Yusuff punches and clinches up. Barboza gets away.
Right hand from Yusuff. High kick attempt from him. Jab for Barboza. Leg kick and a punch from Yusuff .
Kick for Barboza. Yusuff goes for the thai clinch and Barboza rifles off punches to the body. Yusuff settling for the clinch to press Barboza into the cage.
Knees from Yusuff. Barboza breaks away. Push kick from Barboza. Hard right hook for Yusuff. Low kick from him. Another inside low kick from him. Push kick for Barboza.
More leg kicks from Yusuff. Now a jab. And again. Good right hand from Barboza. Now a rip to the body. Low kick from Yusuff. Barboza with a front kick to the body. Leg kick from Yusuff.
Spinning backfist from Yusuff. Barboza punches to the body. Body kick from Barboza. Barboza looks a bit beat up as he heads back to his corner, but he seems to have survived the early storm and is now starting to get his own striking going.
Jab for Yusuff. Barboza clinches up and drives Yusuff over to the cage. However he then opts to disengage.
Barboza digs to the body. Yusuff with punches over the top. They clinch in the center of the Octagon. Barboza shifts them over to the cage again then backs off. Yusuff with a kick that strays to the groin and forces a brief stoppage.
Barboza gets back to the action quickly. calf kick for Yusuff. Big low kick from Barboza. Spinning kick to the body from him as he presses forward.
Body-head combo for Barboza lands nicely. Again Barboza works to the body then head with punches. Another rip to the body. And again.
Now a body kick as he continues to punish that side, potentially hoping for the liver shot. jab for Yusuff. Now a calf kick. Much slower pace from him compared to the opening round though.
Jab for Barboza. He looks for more punches behind it but misses. Big spinning wheel kick from Barboza and Yusuff is rocked, staggering and then falling to the mat! Barboza on the mat now trying to finish with ground-and-pound. Yusuff surviving though and makes it to the end of the round.
Spinning body kick from Barboza. Body kick from him. Yusuff with an inside leg kick. Jab for Barboza. Outside leg kick from Yusuff.
Yusuff with a jab. Body punch from Barboza. They clinch up and Barboza pushes Yusuff into the cage. Barboza backs off.
Right hand for Barboza. Now one to the body. Yusuff feeling out with the jab but then eats a more meaningful one from Barboza. Now low kick from the Brazilian.
Punches from Barboza. Jab from Yusuff. Barboza continuing to apply more pressure than his opponent. He pumps out the jab. Right hand from Yusuff. Jab from him. They clinch up again. This time it’s Yusuff walking Barboza over to the cage. They exchange knees to the legs and then Barboza shoves him away.
Leg kick for Yusuff. jab from him as Barboza goes for a low kick. Jab for Barboza. He lands to the body again and gets a knee in to the body too. Left hook for Yusuff. Leg kick from him and then a harder one in return from Barboza. Barboza goes to the body then head.
Body kick for Barboza. Jab from Yusuff. jab for Barboza. He lands it again and Yusuff swats with his.
Clinch from Yusuff and Barboza fires off a few punches. Barboza breaks out the clinch. He goes to the body with a punch and misses upstairs.
Spinning body kick to the body from Barboza. Yusuff trying to work the jab but not explosive with his work now. Barboza still has some snap in his punches and kicks though.
Body kick from Barboza and one to the leg too. Right hook from Yusuff. Body kick from Barboza as Yusuff goes for a leg kick.
Body-head combo for Barboza. Knee to the body from Barboza as Yusuff clinches up. Barboza does well to land a trip takedown.
Yusuff shifts over to the cage and stands. Barboza remains clinching up against the cage. Knees to the body. Final minute of the fight. More knees from him. Barboza sweeps a leg to work a takedown, but Yusuff quickly rights himself. Still clinched up tough. Barboza switches around to his back and then is able to hoist him up and lands a final takedown.
There was some thrilling action here, with Yusuff coming out very aggressive and flooring Barboza early, but despite the shellacking he suffered in that opening round the Brazilian somehow survived and went on to drop his opponent with a spinning wheel kick in the third and continue to press the action in the rounds that followed to rightly earn a unanimous decision victory (49-46, 48-46 x2). An impressive show of resilience, courage and skill from the veteran striking ace!