The opening FX preliminary card fight at UFC 162 sees Edson Barboza (11-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) take on Brazilian Rafaello Oliveira (15-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC) in the lightweight division. This is no doubt a downgrade over the originally planned bout between Barboza and Canadian striker John Makdessi, who is out with an injury.
Barboza is considered one of the most talented strikers in the division, and his heavy use of kicks will certainly be something Oliveira will have to avoid if he wants to pull off a shock result. The UFC 162 preliminary card begins at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on FX and the main card airs live at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Barboza: 27 years old | 5'11" | 75" reach
Oliveira: 31 years old | 5'8" | 71.5" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Barboza's dazzling display of striking has put him on the list of highly regarded lightweight prospects. His rise to the top took a significant step back when Jamie Varner knocked him out at UFC 146. The Varner loss came just a few months after producing a stupendous head kick KO vs. Terry Etim at UFC 142, which was the consensus best KO finish of 2012. Barboza returned to action in January and forced Lucas Martins to tap out to strikes in 1 round.
Oliveira was given a 2nd crack at the UFC after a going 1-2 from 2009 to 2010. He returned to the UFC in 2011 to face Gleison Tibau at UFC 130, losing by 2nd round submission. His TKO loss to Yves Edwards put him on the cusp of another release, but a decision win over Yoislandy Izquierdo staved off that possibility. Oliveira was due to fight Mike Chiesa at UFC on Fox 5, but an injury forced him off the card and now he's the one replacing an injured combatant against a very dangerous opponent.
Why should you care?
Chances are you will either get another huge upset loss for Edson Barboza or a highlight-reel KO by Edson Barboza. Either outcome would be exciting and worth the watch.