NEWARK - Edson Barboza will be the UFC lightweight champion one day. That day is far off, but not as far as most would think after just two fights in the world's top mixed martial arts promotion.
He's got leg kicks like Jose Aldo. Hands, too. Lightning quick, thunderous power.
But of course he needs more seasoning. Barboza defeated Anthony Njokuani by unanimous decision at UFC 128 at the Prudential Center. All three judges scored it 29-28. Barboza capped his victory with a reverse spinning back kick that landed flush to Njokuani's face.
Barboza (8-0) landed a kick so flush to the ribs of Njokuani in the first round, it sounded like the two blocks they bang together for the 10-second warning toward the end of rounds.
Barboza's one mistake came two minutes into the second round when Njokuani caught a leg kick by the ankle. Njokuani took him down to the canvas up against the cage, but Barboza got back up quickly.
Credit Njokuani (14-5) for continuing to push forward and be aggressive. In the WEC, he was being groomed for a title shot before back-to-back losses. He landed a few nice inside uppercuts on Barboza during the fight and was very active in the third round.