Terry Etim was forced out of MMA for over a year with a broken rib, but made the most upon his return to UFC with a 17 second submission over Edward Faaloloto at UFC 138. In front of his fellow countrymen, he was able to earn a Submission of the Night away (tying the UFC career record with 4) and improved his record to 6-3 in the Octagon. He’s a veteran fighter, one who deserved the opportunity to return to the birthplace of MMA for what could also be a star-making turn for himself as well as others on the show.
The undefeated Edson Barboza burst into UFC with a TKO victory via leg kicks over Mike Lullo at UFC 123. The former Ring of Combat Lightweight champion has two “Fight of the Night” honors in his previous forays within the cage and there’s no reason to believe that this one can’t go the same way as well. He’s an elite level striker; Barboza’s black belt in Muay Thai will prove to be the big difference.
Etim has more career submissions than Barboza has fights, but in a purely striking contest, the young Brazilian has a serious advantage. With lethal chopping leg kicks, Barboza will put Etim down on the mat, hoping to move into a position to end the fight late.
Pick: Edson Barboza via 3rd Round TKO