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Edson Barboza jumps on the scale for the UFC 262 Official Weigh-in on May 14, 2021 at Marriott Marquis Houston in Houston, TX. (Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire)
February 28th, 2022
A crossroads clash between the featherweight division's new blood and old guard will take place on Saturday, March 5 at UFC 272 when Bryce Mitchell faces off against Edson Barboza.
Let's examine their match, beginning with the latest betting odds available.
The surging Mitchell is taking a big step forward in his highest profile fight to date, and should he win, he’ll be inched towards title contention at featherweight. Mitchell is a lethal submission expert, displaying possibly the best grappling in the division, and that could make him a major player sooner than we think.
A win over Barboza would put him in the top 10, and he’ll seek to do that with ground control and aggressive submission attempts. His striking defense is sure to be tested by the aging, but still dangerous Barboza, but he’s fleet footed and difficult to land a clean shot on.
While Barboza remains an exciting fighter, he’s gone 3-6 over his last nine fights and is coming off a clear loss to Giga Chikadze. It was another serving of hard luck for Barboza, and he will need to put forth a big effort to avoid adding to his losing streak.
Barboza will be the stronger striker, without question, but he’s starting to show the wears of a long career and has to contend with Mitchell’s excellent striking defense. Critical to him springing the upset is keeping the fight upright, and commanding the action against his light-hitting foe.
Mitchell has momentum on his side and is crafty enough to keep Barboza from getting comfortable. While Mitchell’s game revolves around controlling space, he does run the risk of getting clipped by a desperate veteran who can still bang. Mitchell is likely to punch, clutch, and wrestle the rounds away all while frustrating Barboza. While Barboza is tough to take down, Mitchell is going to have success in forcing him to the mat at some point in the fight.
Barboza still has enough left in the tank to make this competitive, but Mitchell should outwork him to earn a decision win.
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