Edson Barboza squeaked out a very close split-decision victory in an excellent fight with British fighter Ross Pearson. The bout was named Fight of the Night and each fighter earned a $100,000 bonus. The bout maintained a fast pace for all 15 minutes and the two fighters battered each other on the feet The first round were very close, with Pearson probably getting the edge. The second was clearly Barboza's, as he dropped Pearson briefly at the beginning of the round.
The third was another extremely close round, with a lot of people believing that Pearson had edged out the decision. But not the judges. One had it 29-28 Pearson, but the other two had it 29-28 Barboza and he took home the W. The bout was the third fight on the pay-per-view portion of the UFC 134 broadcast.
What was the high spot of this fight?
There were a lot of solid shots, but Barboza dropping Pearson early in the second was likely the best one. He throw a bunch of super-fast spinning back kicks that were pretty impressive as well.
Where do these guys go from here?
Despite the win, Barboza looked a lot more human in this fight than he had in his prior two UFC bouts. A stiff test like this is probably exactly what he needed to progress, but it's tough to see exactly where he goes from here. A win over a TUF winner is great for the resume, but the division is extremely deep. A fight with Dennis Siver sounds like surefire excitement, but Barboza might not be ready for that yet. Matt Wiman would be a good test of his overall game.
Pearson showed a lot in this fight, but the loss will definitely slow his ascent in the division. A bout with Charles Oliveira would be an excellent test for both fighters.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. It won Fight of the Night for a reason, and everyone likes 15 minutes of standnbang every so often. Check it out.
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