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‘That Edson is back’ - Barboza says controversial losses ‘awakened’ old self

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Featherweight Edson Barboza is ready to put on a vintage performance against Makwan Amikrhani this weekend at UFC Fight Island 5.

Former UFC lightweight contender Edson Barboza is still looking for his first win at featherweight following a failed attempt in his debut. Although his defeat to Dan Ige was a controversial one — as well as the prior split decision to Paul Felder — the fact is that the Brazilian’s last win is almost two years ago.

However, Barboza won’t let the bad streak get in his head when he meets Makwan Amirkhani at UFC Fight Island 5. In an interview with Combate, the 34-year-old says that the losses brought back his young, “thirsty” self back. Coming into the fight, Edson intends to use all that drive to begin a win streak in the new weight class.

“I feel great. I’ve never felt so great in my whole career, hands down. Psychologically, phisically and most of all, I feel motivated. Some things happened and I needed this. I had some controversial losses. It awakened the Edson from back in the day, from before the UFC days. The one who was really thirsty, does what he loves and wanted this more than anything else. That Edson is back.”

“it’s funny. I had two controversial losses, especially the last one, and I had two choices.” Edson said. “Do I go back to the other division? Do I stay here?. Since I felt so great in my first fight and in this division, I looked at it as a fresh start. I do believe I won my last fight, and the Paul Felder one, too. But it’s a fresh start. You’ll see the best Edson Barboza to ever fight in the UFC.”

Currently on a three-fight losing streak, Edson Barboza (20-9) was also knocked out by Justin Gaethje before his defeats to Felder and Ige. The 34-year-old’s last win is a TKO victory over Dan Hooker, in December 2018.

Now, Barboza is expected to take on Amirkhani at UFC Fight Island 5, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on October 10. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a bantamweight bout between contenders Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen.