A world class Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight bout takes place Saturday April 21 inside the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, when potential title contenders Kevin Lee and Edson Barboza meet inside the Octagon.
Lee is coming off a loss in October for the interim lightweight belt, where he was submitted in the third round against Tony Ferguson. The defeat ended his five-fight winning streak.
Barboza last took to the cage in December against the recently-crowned lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. “The Eagle” nullified Barboza’s striking game on that night, earning a dominant unanimous decision victory.
Lee spoke to reporters at the UFC Performance Institute ahead of this weekend’s bout with Barboza (via MMAJunkie.com):
“I want that Khabib fight. I’ve been calling for it for a long time. I feel like I’m going to get a better version of Edson Barboza that fought Khabib a couple months ago. I’m going to whoop this boy even worse than Khabib did, and then from there we can make a fight happen.”
Lee said he noticed a few weaknesses in Nurmagomedov’s game in his win against Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 and plans to expose them if they fight.
“Once I get my hands on him that’s really going to show. There was a little bit of frustration watching that fight because I wanted to be the one to expose those holes and I want to be the one to give him that one on his record. But as soon as that fight’s over I got back on what I got to do and that’s go out there and whooping on Edson.”
Lee was in scintillating form before his loss to Ferguson with notable finishes over Jake Matthews, Francisco Trinaldo, and Michael Chiesa. He is officially the No. 7 ranked lightweight according to the official UFC rankings.
Barboza is No. 4 and has recent victories over Anthony Pettis, Gilbert Melendez and Beneil Dariush.
UFC Fight Night 128 has another major fight on the card when former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar takes on Cub Swanson in the co-main event in a rematch of their first fight back in November 2014, when Edgar submitted Swanson in the fifth round.