File this under “no brainer.”
Edson Barboza and Justin Gaethje are both coming off back-to-back losses and both are known for being exciting stand-up fighters. So instead of watching the Brazilian fight off his back for three rounds, why not put him into a firefight with the lightweight “Highlight?”
That works just fine for manager Alex Davis, who told Portal do Vale Tudo that Barboza vs. Gaethje would be a fight that makes sense for both combatants and would undoubtedly electrify mixed martial arts (MMA) fans.
Barboza (19-6) is ranked No. 6 at 155 pounds, while Gaethje (18-2) clocks in at No. 7.
It’s also one of the few fights that isn’t dependent on what happens with the top of the lightweight pecking order (see it). Conor McGregor is out until September (or later), while Khabib Nurmagomedov has no plans to defend his newly-won strap until November.
And let’s not forget about Tony Ferguson’s injury timeout.
Sandwiched between all of the fighters I just mentioned? Eddie Alvarez (No. 3) and Dustin Poirier (No. 5), who collide at the upcoming UFC on FOX 30 event in Calgary.
Lightweight just might be the best division in all of MMA.