For what started as a “slow” card, UFC Philadelphia sure ended up putting on a show for the city of “Brotherly Love.” The main event saw #8 ranked Lightweight Justin Gaethje Knockout #6 Edson Barboza in an action packed first round stoppage.
Takeaways From UFC Philadelphia:
- Justin Gaethje Can Win a Title At 155
Did he fall short in back to back stoppage losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier? Yes. But make no mistake about it, he was in both of those fights until the end, and they easily could’ve went in his favor. Gaethje is a perfect example of a very good fighter that with the right coaching and game planning could turn himself into a champion. He may be on that path now after adjusting some small aspects of his game. On paper, he matches up very well with everyone in the UFC Lightweight division, even current Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
2. Is it time for Barboza to only Take Stylistic Matchups?
Can Barboza still compete with every single guy in the top 10 at lightweight? Yes. But the 33 year old has been in wars since a young kid training, and there comes a time where one must weigh the pros and cons of being a professional fighter. Barboza was brutalized in fights against current Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and contender Kevin Lee. After winning a fight with Dan Hooker via TKO in December, he found himself on the wrong end of a first round KO against Gaethje. Understandably, this is how these guys make a living. I think for Barboza’s long term health, if he wishes to fight for a few more years he should consider taking favorable stylistic matchups rather than chasing the title, especially with the new addition to his family.