UFC Card 262: Shane Burgos vs Edson Barboza full fight preview


Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight sluggers Shane Burgos and Edson Barboza kick off this weekend (Saturday, May 15, 2021) at UFC 262 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Look, losing is never great, but if someone has to miss it could just as easily be in a ‘fight of the year’ contender. Such is the case for Burgos, who is undefeated inside the Octagon outside of the winning battles of “Fight Of The Night” with contenders ranked in the top 5. Burgos will try to bounce back here, but either way, “The Hurricane” promises some action. Full Disclosure: I fully wrote down Barboza’s featherweight movement as a terrible idea that would lead to poor performance. I’m still not sure that got him any closer to the title, but Barboza definitely proved the last part of that statement to be incorrect, fighting well enough at 145 pounds.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for every man:

Shane Burgos

Record: 13-2
Key wins: Cub Swanson (UFC Fight Night 151), Godofredo Pepey (UFC on FOX 25), Charles Rosa (UFC 210), Makwan Amirkhani (UFC 244)
Key losses: Calvin Kattar (UFC 220), Josh Emmett (UFC on ESPN 11)
Keys to victory: Burgos is a pressure fighter from start to finish. He stalks his opponents relentlessly, sticking long punches while waiting for a reaction. Burgos’ finger is on a hair trigger, as he’s still waiting for his moment to slip in with one over it.

He has stopped 10 of his distance wins.

Historically, Barboza’s weakness has come from pressure, which bodes well for Burgos. However, as Dan Hooker discovered the hard way, the methodical / patient pressure can sometimes equal just taking brutally hard punches. Instead, Burgos must take advantage of his own Tony Ferguson-style tank of gas by making it a frantic competition from the first bell.

Body shots are a big part of Burgos’ attack. Again, this is great for the game, as cutting an extra 10 pounds certainly doesn’t help Barboza’s gas tank. If Burgos takes him down aggressively, tears the body apart whenever he’s close, and tries to catch Barboza circling with hooks / overhangs, he’s likely to come back to the win column in style.

Edson Barboza

Record: 21-9
Key wins: Anthony Pettis (UFC 197), Gilbert Melendez (UFC on FOX 20), Dan Hooker (UFC on FOX 31), Beneil Dariush (UFC Fight Night 106), Paul Felder (UFC on FOX 16)
Key losses: Justin Gaethje (UFC on ESPN 2), Kevin Lee (UFC Fight Night 128), Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC 219), Tony Ferguson (TUF 22 Finale), Donald Cerrone (UFC on FOX 11)
Keys to victory: As the only man to stop opponents with leg, midsection, and skull kicks, Barboza is perhaps the most effective kicker in UFC history. From a distance, he’s just super fast and it doesn’t take a lot of kicking to start smashing his opponent.

One of the perks of Barboza’s jump to 145 pounds seems to be improved punching power. We only have a small sample, but Barboza puts enemies to the ground with his hands more often, and that may be a real solution to his pressure issues.

Against Burgos, gaining the respect of your enemy is vital. When Burgos doesn’t care what is his, he really lets his suits fly and his pressure will be relentless. However, when Kattar and Emmett were able to poke Burgos, he was more willing to stay back and poke – this is precisely where Barboza can let his kicks fly.

In addition, Barboza needs to focus on returning to center. Burgos is guilty of stalking without cutting the cage, so it’s possible that Barboza will reset whenever Burgos gets too close for his comfort.

At the end of the line

The two action fighters try to penetrate the elite of the featherweight.

Burgos had a couple of chances against top contenders, and no fight ended well for him. Barboza is perfect middle ground, a seasoned veteran better than someone like Cub Swanson, but he’s not close to the title either. If Burgos bounces here, he’s ready to come back with a Top 10 foe.

Meanwhile, Barboza has a shot at making a Top 10 here, as he is already expected to be 2-0 at Featherweight. If he can follow his previous success by knocking out the No.9-ranked Burgos, it could be the start of a real momentum at 145 pounds.

Remember that MMAmania.com will provide live turn-based and blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 262 fight map to the right here, starting from the beginning ESPN + Online ‘preliminary’ matches, which are scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining subcard balance on ESPN /ESPN + 8:00 p.m. ET, prior to the main PPV card start time at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN + PPV.

For the latest and greatest from UFC 262: “Oliveira vs Chandler” news and notes, be sure to check out our full event archive. here.

At UFC 262, Shane Burgos and Edson Barboza will open the main card. Which man will have his hand up?

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