Amidst a rough patch in his UFC run, Edson Barboza has decided to make a big career change.
The Brazilian lightweight contender is headed to American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, per MMAFighting.com. Barboza decided to leave New Jersey, where he trained under striking coach Mark Henry and jiu-jitsu coach Ricardo Almeida for years, to be closer to his family in Florida.
Barboza made the move on Monday and will have his first training session on Thursday, he said.
“There are a lot of guys I know there and I felt at home, no doubt,” Barboza said of ATT. “I spoke with the coaches and I’m happy and excited. I’m still moving, worried about this part first, but I’ll start training tomorrow.”
Barboza left his former coaches — and teammates — on very good terms. There was no ill will whatsoever, and the 32-year-old still considers them family. He simply felt the move to Florida and ATT was best for his life and career.
”I love them, coaches and training partners, but life brought me back to Florida,” Barboza said. “We’ll continue talking. It’s a bit complicated now that I’ll be on a different team, but I love them all.”
Barboza is riding a two-fight skid with one-sided losses to current champ Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 219 last December and rising star Kevin Lee at UFC Fight Night 128 in April. He hasn’t won since a vicious knockout of Beneil Dariush 16 months ago.
Barboza took lots of damage in his last two bouts, but plans to return to action this October or November.
”I want to fight as fast as possible with whoever the UFC puts in front of me,” Barboza said.