The 35-year-old fighter born in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Edson Barboza Jr., returns tonight to the Octagon at UFC 262 against the 30-year-old American, Shane Burgos. It will be the first fight in 2021 for the Brazilian, after the contract was renewed by the largest MMA organization on the planet.
The night will be very emotional for Barboza since it will also be the first fight without his father, who died in December 2020. The absence, for the athlete, is only on the physical plane. “The incentive to fight and achieve things will be even stronger”, He said.
«I spoke with my father every day. He was always my best friend, the guy I called first after the fight. He was always my biggest supporter and he was the guy I always wanted by my side. Without a doubt, my biggest fan and follower of all. But before, we physically stayed away. I in the United States and he in Brazil. Now we are together all the time. It’s in my heart. Kept in my chest, giving me even greater strength », said the martial artist who fought both at lightweight and featherweight.
Edson Barboza and his father – Photo: Personal Archive
On the renewal with the UFC, he said: «They came to renew with a better scholarship, and my manager was negotiating and we reached a legal consensus. I felt valued and motivated to continue with the organization.
On his rival, Barboza closed: «The guy is very tough, top 10 in the category. I am very happy and motivated by the UFC for always putting myself against the best. It will certainly be a war. I think two more victories put me at the top of the division to contest a belt and that’s what I want. It’s my goal and my total focus«.