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Posted on August 26, 2011 by John Petit

Breaking Down UFC 134: Edson Barboza vs. Ross Pearson

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Lightweight bout:
Edson Barboza vs. Ross Pearson 

Edson Barboza
100% Fights Won
40% Striking Accuracy
100% Takedown Accuracy

Reach: 75 in
Record: 8-0
UFC Record: 2-0
Last 5: 5-0
Streak: +8

Ross Pearson
80% Fights Won
40% Striking Accuracy
29% Takedown Accuracy

Odds: +261
Reach: 69 in
UFC Record: 4-1
Last 5: 4-1
Streak: +1

If momentum has anything to do with this fight, then Edson Barboza is going to enjoy his bonus check after UFC 134. Barboza is undefeated in his mixed martial arts career, and 2-0 in his UFC run. Barboza has finished all of his opponents with the exception of the always game Anthony Njukuani in a fight of the night performance at UFC 128. In his UFC debut at UFC 123, he had a change of opponent and Mike Lullo stepped up to fill in for Derrick Elkins. Barboza tore Lullo to pieces with low leg kicks, and Lullo eventually couldn’t stand. This is a small step up for him, but the real pressure is from the fact that this is happening in his home country of Brazil. His country will be behind him in this fight, and he will have to deal with the atmosphere of such a big card.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 winner Ross Pearson was riding a 3 fight winning streak when he met the dangerous bjj fighter Cole Miller. Miller was able to get the back of Pearson in the second round and get the choke and hand him his first loss inside the Octagon. He has since gotten back on track with a gritty performance and a win over Spencer Fisher at UFC 127 with a unanimous decision. In his UFC career he has faced tougher fighters then Barboza has, and you learn a lot about yourself as a fighter when you go through the pressure cooker that the TUF reality show can be.

Barboza is going to want to be able to set up and dance around on the outside of Ross Pearson’s punches. Barboza can get flashy in the cage as he did against Njokuani when he landed the spinning heel kick with the toes of foot. Had he landed with the heel itself, Njokuani would have woken up on the Octagon floor with Ref. Steve Mazzagatti telling him ‘everything is going to be ok.’ Barboza is going to enjoy a solid 6 inch reach advantage in this fight, and I assure you he has been preparing to use it.

Pearson is going to want to clinch this fight up, and make it as dirty and ugly looking as possible. He can not afford to hang out on the outside of Edson’s reach as he will probably get picked apart. Pearson has showed a solid chin, and has never been ko’d in a fight. He needs to set up the clinch with punches when he sees Barboza going backwards, and if he can can clinch him against the fence to tire him, all the better. Pearson won’t win any fans fighting this way, but its definitely a feather in his cap with a win on this big of stage.

Edson Barboza is the betting favorite in the fight, and I have go with the odds-makers on this one. Barboza can get violent in a hurry and will not fade late in the fight. I see Barboza being able to implement an offensive attack on Pearson by jumping in and out of the pocket and landing strikes. Barboza might get taken down a few times, but I don’t see him being in any real trouble unless he lets Pearson get some separation to land punches from the top. Thats a big if, and it would surprise me if it happened. Barboza is going to get his hand raised at this end of this one, and celebrate close to home in Brazil with a unanimous decision win.

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