When Edson Barboza and Paul Felder touched gloves at the beginning of their co-main event at UFC 242, the fans expected an even matchup that would test the abilities of both fighters. However, what they weren't expecting was a bloody bout that lasted all three rounds and forced a decision by the judges. That was exactly what happened as Felder was announced as the winner by decision.
This fight between the two was actually an opportunity for Felder to avenge a previous loss. In 2015, Barboza got the unanimous decision in Chicago and added a loss to Felder's record.With this victory, however, Felder got his revenge and moved to 9-4 in the UFC. Nearly as important is that he showed those in attendance at The Arena in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi that he can rumble with the best of them.
During the bout, Felder took a headbutt that split his face open and resulted in blood becoming the focus of the fans. How did he fight through the bodily fluids covering his face? It was not easy, but Felder managed to achieve this goal and secure a much-needed victory.
Interestingly enough, the headbutt was not a move done on purpose. The hit was accidental and forced a brief stoppage in action. However, both Felder and Barboza quickly returned and began landing heavy hits throughout the rest of the first round.
Ultimately, Felder's freshness helped him stay ahead of Barboza as he continued to press the pace during the remaining two rounds of action. He landed some significant hard shots late as Barboza began to tire, which only helped Felder in the judging.0comments
Achieving victory in this fight was critical for Barboza considering that he entered the bout with a record of 1-3 in his last four fights. He needed this victory but couldn't ultimately achieve his goal. He fell to 1-4 in the previous five bouts and needs to get back on the winning track.
Considering that the 2015 battle won Fight of the Night and the second was even more exciting, it's very likely that a third bout could be on the horizon for the pair. Although that will have to be determined at some point in the future by UFC President Dana White. Although this decision may be very easy for the top decision-maker in the sport.