UFC Fight Night 57 Fight Breakdown: Edson Barboza vs. Bobby Green

bobby-green The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 57 is a three-round lightweight bout between Edson Barboza vs. Bobby Green. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Barboza is a -120 favorite (bet $120 to win $100) while Green is a +100 underdog (bet $100 to win $100). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Green at -125 and Barboza at -115, and the line has flipped as Barboza is now the slight favorite. This should be a competitive fight but I lean towards Green as the slight underdog. Here’s why. Barboza (14-2) is one of the top muay Thai kickboxers in the UFC. The 28-year-old Brazilian is 8-2 in the UFC with wins over the likes of Ross Pearson, Evan Dunham, and Danny Castillo, and his only two losses coming to Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner. Barboza is one nasty kickboxer. His kicks are absolutely lethal — he TKOed Mike Lullo and Rafaello Oliveira with leg kicks, and he knocked out Terry Etim with a spinning heel kick. If he can start landing his kicks on anyone, he can finish them, a rare quality in the sport. He also has great takedown defence so he’s able to keep the fight standing and blow up his opponents’ legs with his legs. However, outside of his kicks he doesn’t do much. His wrestling is basically non-existent, he doesn’t really use his hands much, and his chin has been tested more than once. So while he does great things with his kicks, he unfortunately hasn’t evolved. He can still beat most lightweights, but without a backup plan for his kicks he can fall to lesser fighters, which he has in the past. There’s no doubt Barboza is wildly talented, and his kicks can finish anyone in the division, but until he evolves he will never be a contender, but only a pretender in the crowded UFC lightweight division. Green (23-5) is one of the top 10 ranked lightweights in the world and is quickly emerging as a contender at 155lbs. The 28-year-old American is 4-0 in the UFC with wins over Josh Thomson, Pat Healy, James Krause and and Jacob Volkmann. He is overall riding an eight-fight win streak, and is overall 8-1 in the UFC/Strikeforce combined. Green is always evolving and every fight he showed improvements in his game. He has wicked boxing — his head movement is excellent, his hands are fast, and his footwork is impeccable. He’s also incredibly fast. His wrestling is solid, too, although it can use some work, but that won’t matter against a non-wrestler like Barboza. For Green to win this matchup he will have to draw Barboza into his kind of fight, which is a boxing match. He will have to stay away from the kicks and land from the outside with his punches, which won’t be easy, but for a speedster like Green, he absolutely has a shot to do it. It’s likely that the fight stays in the center of the Octagon where both guys stand and trade, but I also think there’s a possibility that Green pushes Barboza up against the fence to negate the possibility of him landing his nasty leg kicks. If the fight stays in the centre of the cage, Green is going to have to use his speed to get away from Barboza’s leg kicks, and use his superior hands to land counter punches. It’s a tough stylistic matchup for Green, but I think it’s a winnable fight for him if he fights smart and can avoid the leg kicks. It’s possible Green could get a knockout since Barboza has a questionable chin, but I think a decision is more likely. Regardless, I expect Green to him. At +100 it is very tempting to place a bet on him. It’s a close fight so I lean towards a pass, but by the time the fight rolls around I may change my mind and put some money on the dog.

Written by Adam Martin.

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