In the UFC Fight Island 5 co-main event Edson Barboza is looking to snap his unfortunate two-fight losing skid. The former lightweight contender turned featherweight hopeful is set to face off against ‘Mr. Finland’ Makwan Amirkhani.
Round 1: A slow start to round one. Edson Barboza is edging forward and pursuing Makwan Amirkhani who is uncharacteristically taking his time in this fight. Barboza lands a huge leg kick – this first shot of the fight. It’s all feints and waiting halfway through this opening round. Amirkhani lands a nice jab. Barboza is targetting his opponent’s body. Amirkhabi finally explodes with a flying knee and this fight catches fire. ‘Mr. Finland’ shoots for the legs but the Brazilian anticipates well. He separates then catches his opponent with a sharp body shot at he sprints in to follow up. A clash at the end of the round sees Amirkhani finally secure the takedown after he catches a kick – he just doesn’t have the time to make use of it.
Round 2: Lot’s of hands fighting at the start of round two. Amirkhani lands a nice short uppercut. Barboza rattles in another hard body kick. Some more posturing before Barboza again targets the body with a big hook. This really is a fight of inches right now. One mistakes and it could be over, both men are aware of that. Just as I say that Barboza drops Amirkhani with a clean right hand. He tries to follow up on the floor. Barboza grabs for the choke but is unable to lock it up. The fight goes back to the feet. Barboza lands well. ‘Mr. Finland’ shoots in for the takedown but it’s stuffed. Another straight right drops Amirkhani again! Barboza jumps for the neck again but his opponent slips out again. A crazy round two comes to an end with Amirkhani on top but similar to round one he doesn’t have ample time to use the position to his advantage.
Round 3: The start of round three is the same as the previous two. A few moments of hand fighting before both men begin to engage. Barboza cracks the body with a hook. Amirkhani goes heavy after the takedown and gets it! Lots of time on the clock for him to play with right now. After some resistance Barboza accepts the position and now has Amirkhani in his guard. Barboza is threatening from the bottom with submissions against Amirkhani who hasn’t been able to get any offense despite being on top for some time now. The referee is urging Amirkhani to get busy. Another warning, the referee says it’ll be the last one. Soon after he stands them up – a huge moment. Barboza gets back to his impressive striking clinic on the feet. He’s putting it on his opponent at the end of round three. Amirkhani is clearly hurt again here but does well to survive all full 15 minutes – we go to the judge’s scorecards.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Edson Barboza def. Makwan Amirkhani via unanimous decision