Edson Barboza is confident he is closing in on a shot at the UFC featherweight title.
The Brazilian knockout artist has picked up back-to-back wins at 145lbs after being on the wrong end of some bad scorecards in his divisional debut against Dan Ige.
Barboza is set to headline UFC Vegas 35 on August 28. He’ll square off against rising Georgian star, Giga Chikadze in a bout scheduled for five, five-minute rounds.
In a recent interview with LowKickMMA, the 35-year-old expressed his belief that a win over Chikadze puts him just one fight away from a shot at the featherweight title.
“Definitely this fight puts me really close to the title shot,” Barboza said. “I really believe if I win this fight and one more fight for my chance at the title shot. I feel I need two more steps in my career to get my chance at the title shot. One this next one (fight). One more fight (after that). I really feel I need two more steps, I’m on the way.”
The 14l5 title will be up for grabs next month when Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega square off at UFC 266. It’s a fight Barboza will be watching closely and one he expects Volkanovski to win.
“It’s going to be a good fight,” Barboza said. “Volkanovski, he’s good. He’s not really good at anything but he’s doing everything well. You know, he’s playing the ground, he’s strong, he has great cardio, he keeps fighting with the same energy for all five rounds.
“Ortega is looking great in the last fight against Zombie,” Barboza added. “His striking is getting better. Everybody knows he’s a great grappler but he is looking great on his last fight against Korean Zombie.
“It’s going to be a fun fight. It’s going to be a great fight but I really believe (because of) his style, Volkanovski has a little advantage over Ortega,” Barboza concluded.
How many more wins do you think Edson Barboza must get to earn himself a shot at the UFC featherweight title?