Justin Gaethje again proved why he is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC’s lightweight division, as he knocked out Edson Barboza in the first round at UFC Philadelphia.
What was the high point of the fight?
As the majority expected, both men started the fight off aggressive. Barboza utilised some heavy leg kicks that clearly caught Gaethje’s attention, but “The Highlight” came back with some good shots of his own.
After a brief striking exchange against the fence, Barboza disengaged with his chin up in the air leaving Gaethje wasting no time and firing off a massive right hand that knocked Barboza stiff, and referee Keith Peterson stepped in straight away to rightfully stop the fight.
Where do these two go from here?
It’s a disappointing setback for Barboza, who hoped to string some wins together after his impressive performance against Dan Hooker in his last outing. Instead “Junior” now suffers his third loss in his last four fights, Gaethje will inevitably swap places with Barboza now in the rankings so it’s a huge backstep for Barboza.
Since those consecutive losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier in which he took a lot of damage, Gaethje has certainly proved he is not a human punching bag at 155-pounds. Although a title shot probably isn’t next for Gaethje, the win against Barboza definitely solidifies him as a legit contender for the lightweight belt.
Watch it now, later or never?
Now. It’s a Justin Gaethje fight with another outstanding ending.