Talented UFC lightweight Edson Barboza is eager to prove his recent UFC on FOX 11 loss to Donald Cerrone was a fluke. After largely controlling the pace with a first round barrage of strikes, Barboza was rocked by a huge jab from “Cowboy,” who quickly turned the tables with a fight-ending rear naked choke.

The loss snapped a three-fight win streak, but it may have done more damage than that. “Junior” appeared to get cocky on his feet, dancing around before losing in the latest fight that was supposed to put him over the top.

The other one was his shocking UFC 146 loss to former WEC champ Jamie Varner, a fight that Barboza brought the momentum of his 2012 “Knockout of the Year”-winning wheel kick over Terry Etim at UFC 142.

No. 11-ranked Barboza may be starting to earn the unfortunate reputation of a phenom who fails in the face of top competition. Regardless, he’ll soon be returning to the cage to restart his ascent.

News broke today that Barboza would receive a step down in competition to face Evan Dunham at the upcoming UFC Fight Night 45 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on July 16.

Despite Barboza’s troubles, Dunham has actually fared considerably worse as of late. He who was also submitted by Cerrone at UFC 168 last December, and he lost his previous bout to another Top 10-ranked competitor in Rafael dos Anjos.

Dunham will look to get back to relevancy against Barboza, but he’s going to need to do it now. Three straight losses in an incredibly tough division will not bode well for the 32-year-old Octagon veteran.

Cerrone will headline UFC Fight Night 45 against local star Jim Miller. The developing card, which will go down at the Revel Casino, also features a recently announced welterweight bout between Rick Story and John Howard, and a featherweight contest between former bantamweight Lucas Martins and Jim Alers.

Photo: Kyle Terada for USA TODAY Sports