Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder
|Date & Time||Saturday September 7, 2019, 3:30 PM (EDT)|
The Arena, Yas Island
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The Line: Felder +129 / Barboza -151 -- Over/Under:
Edson Barboza and Paul Felder fight Saturday during UFC 242 at The Arena, Yas Island.
Edson Barboza enters this fight with a 20-7 record and has won 60 percent of his fights by knockout. Barboza has split his last 10 fights and is coming off a March loss to Justin Gaethje. Barboza is averaging 4.01 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43 percent. Barboza is averaging 0.46 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 47 percent. Barboza tried his bet to beat Gaethje in a standup brawl, and it was going well until he ate an overhand right that knocked him clean out. Barboza has now lost three of his last four fights and his last two losses have been knockouts. While an established fighter and very decorated in his background, Barboza is kind of in a must-win spot if he hopes to keep getting placed on these big cards with respectable paydays. Barboza is known for his leg work and is one of the best in the sport thanks to a deep kickboxing background and being a black belt in Taekwondo. You allow Barboza to stand up and fight from the outside, he’s going to pick you apart and chop your legs until you can’t move. However, some may find some weakness in Barboza’s standup considering he’s been finished twice in his last three bouts and dropped his hands in his last fight that allowed his opponent to land a clean shot that knocked out the lights. This will be first Barboza’s career fight in Abu Dhabi.
Paul Felder enters this fight with a 16-4 record and has won 63 percent of his fights by knockout. Felder has won six his last eight fights and is coming off a February win over James Vick. Felder is averaging 3.53 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 44 percent. Felder is averaging 0.32 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33 percent. Felder is coming off another super competitive fight that could have gone either way, so you can make a case he should be riding a fight-fight winning streak. Felder hasn’t clearly lost a fight since his knockout loss to Francisco Trinaldo in UFC Fight Night 95. Felder is what he is, as he's a striker at heart who is creative and six of has last 10 wins have come by knockout. Felder lands 65 percent of his strikes standing up and has good variety to his strikes. Felder is a pressure fighter who likes to dictate pace and keep his opponent uncomfortable with his high work rate. Whether he's standing up, in the clinch or executing ground and pound, Felder usually outworks his opponent and has been finished just once in four career losses. A tough creative fighter, Felder can bang with just about anybody within this division. This will be first Felder’s career fight in Abu Dhabi.
Barboza won the fight meeting against Felder in UFC on Fox 16, a fight where he landed 128 strikes at 47 percent and The Irish Dragon landed 100 strikes at 33 percent. Felder has mentioned how motivated he is to get revenge considering it was his first career loss, and he also thinks a win here gets him closer to a title shot. Barboza is the better fighter in this fight, but his last few bouts do leave some holes in his attack and give a striker like Felder some hope. Barboza dropping his hands when backing up and the fact he’s displayed some cardio issues, these are things that Felder should file away entering the octagon. Felder was very competitive in the first meeting and is a better, more confident fighter now. I’m not sure we can say the same about Barboza, who is trending in the wrong direction currently.
Felder and the plus money is looking like an intriguing option right now.