Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
One of these men is a rising star in the UFC lightweight division, and was supposed to face off with Evan Dunham on this card. The other is a Worm, and is finally earning another shot in the big leagues. Edson Barboza (10-0, 4-0 UFC) meets Jamie Varner (19-6-1, 2 NC, 1-1 UFC).
Neither fighter is currently ranked at lightweight in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings. I keep voting for Barboza, but apparently I'm the only one. A win over Varner probably shouldn't affect things much but who knows. This lightweight UFC 146 bout is the sixth bout of the preliminary card and the third to air on FX. The FX broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Barboza: 26 years old | 5'11" | 75" reach
Varner: 27 years old | 5'8" | 72" reach
What have these two done recently?
Barboza: W - Terry Etim (EPIC KO) | W - Ross Pearson (SD) | W - Anthony Njokuani (UD)
Varner: W - Drew Fickett (SUB) | W - Nate Jolly (KO) | L - Dakota Cochrane (UD)
How did these two get here?
Edson Barboza has been one of the most exciting UFC lightweights to come along in years. Four bouts, four wins, three fight of the nights, and one of the greatest KO's of all time. How can you not like this guy? His last bout against Terry Etim earned him a highlight for the ages, and he'll try to continue his march up the lightweight ladder over Varner. It won't be as easy as most think though.
Jamie "The Worm" Varner made his way up to the UFC in 2006, but a 1-1 record saw him end up in the WEC instead. He picked up the WEC lightweight title in his second fight in the organization and was able to defend it twice before dropping it to current UFC lightweight champ Ben Henderson. He went 0-2-1 in 3 WEC bouts after that and wasn't invited over to the UFC in the merger. He hasn't made 155 since that bout, but has gone 3-1 in bouts at 160 and above and earned the late replacement call when Evan Dunham got hurt.
Why should you care?
Barboza is always crazy exciting, regardless of opponent. That should be enough for you.
You can catch more UFC 146 preview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
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