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Edson Barboza feels ‘stronger than ever’ after father’s passing: ‘He’s with me in spirit’

Following the passing of his father, due to lung cancer, Edson Barboza made it clear that he’s absolutely still prepared to fight and win at UFC 262.

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Edson Barboza is set to face Shane Burgos at UFC 262.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Longtime action-fight talent Edson Barboza will enter his next bout with more on his mind than just Shane Burgos. Paired up against rising featherweight talent at UFC 262, Barboza has also been grappling with the death of his late father, Edson Barboza Sr., who passed away due to lung cancer at the age of 65 late last year.

Despite the recent loss, however, Barboza appears to be at peace with his father’s passing. In an interview with Combate, the Brazilian detailed how he feels he and his father are now together in spirit—leaving him that much more motivated to put on a memorable performance against Burgos come May 15.

“It wasn’t easy to go through everything I’ve been through,” Barboza admitted. “Now I understand it. That’s the way humanity is. It’s going to happen to everyone. Now I can guarantee you that I’m stronger than ever, and that’s one of the main reasons why. I’ve been here in the United States for the past 13 years. I used to talk to my dad everyday and now I feel like he’s with in me spirit. Phisically, he’s not here anymore. He’s not in Brazil, but he’s inside of me. That gave me a kind of strength I didn’t know I had. You’ll see it in my next fight.”

Paired up against a fellow dangerous striking talent, it sounds like Barboza believes he has a thrilling stand-up battle ahead of him. Although he feels confident enough in his skills to pick up a much needed win, the Brazilian knows it will not come without a lot of effort.

“People know I hurt people. They know that if you fight me, it’s going to be a war. I won’t quit and we’ll hurt each other. That’s the truth. He’s a striker, too. He likes to stand. You can see he feels comfortable standing, he’s a volume striker. He doesn’t mind getting hit. That’s a good thing. Like I said, I hurt people and I know he’ll be walking forward. I’ll keep hurting him we’ll see how much he can take. I believe it’s a very good pairing, because of our styles. We’re going to hurt each other, that’s everyone is waiting for and I think it’s going to be a war.”

In his last outing, Edson Barboza (21-9) picked up a unanimous decision win over Makwan Amirkahni, back in October 2020. The victory snapped a three-fight losing skid for the 35-year-old, who had suffered losses to Dan Ige, Paul Felder and Justin Gaethje before meeting ‘Mr. Finland’.

UFC 262 is set to go down in Houston, Texas, on May 15. The card is scheduled to be headlined by title fight for the vacant lightweight belt, between top contenders Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. A lightweight bout between Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush is scheduled for the co-main event.