Back at UFC 142, Edson Barboza continued his journey inside the Octagon, with a stunning spinning heel kick victory over Terry Etim. Barboza improved his Mixed Martial Arts record to 10-0, with 7 KO/TKO stoppages and one submission victory.
Barboza is one of the most decorated fighters in the UFC when it comes to Fight of the Night awards. The Brazilian won Fight of the Night bonuses for his performances against Anthony Njokuani, Ross Pearson, and Terry Etim. Spinning heel kick KO over Etim also earned Barboza his first Knockout of the Night award in the UFC.
On May 26th, "Junior" will look to make another step towards his ultimate goal of becoming the first ever Brazilian to win the UFC Lightweight title. Barboza will be facing former WEC Lightweight champion Jamie Varner, who comes in as a replacement for Evan Dunham.
The fight will be aired LIVE on FX, together with Jason Miller vs. C.B. Dollaway, Paul Sass vs Jacob Volkmann, and Diego Brandao vs. Darren Elkins.
In his second interview with LowKick.com, Edson Barboza discussed his title aspirations and the upcoming fight with Jamie Varner. Twenty-six year old KO artist also shared thoughts about the possible #1 contender bout with Anthony Pettis,
Can you talk about your camp for Jamie Varner, and whether there are any differences from the one you had for Terry Etim?
My camp for my next fight is going great! Thank God I could keep myself healthy during all my camp. I still have hard trainings. I am still training at the Armory, in Jupiter, Florida. But some of my trainings I have had at Blackzilians and also at Pablo Popovitch gym. My team, my partners and my coaches are the same as of my other fights.
This will be your fifth fight in the UFC. What’s the biggest difference between Edson Barboza who made his Octagon against Mike Lullo, and the one who will be facing Jamie Varner?
I think I can learn different things in each fight that I have. I can see what I did right and what I did wrong. And I am able to grow up on this way. I think I am always the same Edson Barboza when I think about my desire to do my best inside the octagon. But also, I think when I am able to correct my mistakes I can grow up. Since my debut I was able to correct a lot of mistakes and I grew up with that.
Do you think that victory on May 26th will put you in line for a title shot?
I don’t know, but I hope so. Actually, I am not worried about this for now. I want to be fighting against the best fighters in the world. I want to win my space step by step. I am not in a hurry. I know I am in a really hard division, and it keeps me motivated to train harder and harder. Today I am focused on my next fight. I want to do my best inside the octagon. What will happen after that, it is in God’s hands.
Not looking past Jamie Varner, but fans are already talking about having a #1 contender fight between you and Anthony Pettis (after Nate Diaz gets his shot). Do you think Pettis could be one of the opponents you’ll be fighting in a very near future?
I don’t know, maybe so. But as I said I am focused on my next fight. So, I neither think about who will be my next opponent, nor about what the people are saying. Pettis is a great fighter. He already won the current champion of this division. This could be a great fight, truly a war. As I said I love being able to fight, I love my job. I want to be fighting against the best ones. Whoever it is, I want to fight.
Considering the fact that UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte is less than one month after UFC 146, are you still happy to fight in the US?
Of course I am happy to fight in US. I love to be fighting in Brazil. But also, I love to be fighting in US. I live in Florida, and I enjoy living over here. My American fans are amazing, they are always supporting me. I was missing to fight in US.
Do you see any weaknesses in Varner as a fighter? What’s your biggest advantage in this match-up?
Varner is a great fighter. He was WEC champion. If he is back to UFC it means that he is tough. I don’t see his weakness or the strongest point of him. My focus is on my game and on what I must do.
You now have three Fight of the Night and one KO of the Night bonuses. Will you be looking to add Submission of the Night as well?
Haha Man, I didn’t think about this. I’ve been training a lot jiu-jitsu, wrestling and nogi with the best grapplers in the world as Pablo Popovitch and others. I had some trainings with Mario Sperring too. So, I want to do a good fight. I’ve never thought about to fight to get bonuses. I always think about to fight for doing a good job and doing what I love to do.
What is your prediction for May 26th – KO / Submission / Decision?
My prediction for this fight is that will be a war and I am ready for that.
Thanks a lot, Edson. We are your big fans here on LowKick.com, and wish you all the best at UFC 146! Please feel free to mention any sponsors / thank teammates.
I would like to thank my wife Bruna, my manager Joe Mullings and everyone at The Armory (thearmory.tv), my agents at VFD Sports (www.vfdsports.com), and my sponsors JiuJitsuMania (jiujitsumania.com), MusclePharm (musclepharm.com), and SafeAuto Insurance (www.safeauto.com).