A featherweight meeting between division debutante, and Muay Thai ace, Edson ‘Jr.’ Barboza, and rising prospect, Dan ‘Dynamite’ Ige is slated to take place at a UFC Fight Night event on May 16th. at the VyStar Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Nova Friburgo native, Barboza, will make his first walk at 145-pounds, following the falling out of a tentatively booked debut against knockout artist, Josh Emmett. Hawaiin contender, Ige, is attempting to grab a sixth consecutive victory – following his split-decision triumph over Mirsad Bektić at UFC 247 in February. News of the pairing was initially reported by Combate reporter, Raphael Marinho.
Human highlight-reel, Barboza, has fallen on tough times recently, dropping a knockout defeat to interim title challenger, Justin Gaethje, before a rematch decision loss to Paul Felder – in a tightly contested affair. The 34-year-old has returned to Florida to train with American Top Team – in pursuit of long time Muay Thai coach, Anderson França. During his stint as perennial lightweight challenger, Barboza managed seven knockouts, including finishes of Dan Hooker, Beniel Dariush, Evan Dunham, and maybe most infamously, Terry Etim. The 34-year-old holds two separate stoppages via leg kicks in the promotion.
28-year-old challenger, Ige, faces the biggest name of his professional career so far, and the biggest threat to his incredible run of victories. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has scored victories over the likes of Mike Santiago, Kevin Aguilar, Danny Henry, and Jordan Griffin, in his brief, but eye-catching Octagon run. Ige featured on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders series back in 2017 – finishing Luis Gomez via a rear-naked choke. A victory over someone as poised as Barboza would be a massive scalp for Ige at this stage in his career.
The UFC Fight Night event will take place on May 16th. from the VyStar Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, and is headlined by a rescheduling of heavyweights, as decorated kickboxer, Alistair Overeem, welcomes contender, Walt Harris back to the Octagon for the first time since the murder of his stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard.