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UFC 197: Pettis vs. Barboza

After announcing the two title fights headlining the card, UFC 197’s fight card has filled out (with the exception of one Fight Pass Prelim).

Two top-tier lightweights will face off after recent defeats when former champion and third-ranked Anthony Pettis battles eighth-ranked Edson Barboza. This will be an important battle to see which contender will return to the title discussion following tightly contested defeats. Along with contender status, this is a matchup between two of the premiere strikers in the lightweight division and will surely have fans on their feet throughout the battle.

Anthony Pettis was the final WEC lightweight champion after defeating Benson Henderson in one of the most memorable fights ever. Since then, he has gone 5-3 including a two-fight title reign. Half of his UFC appearances have earned him post-fight bonuses, cementing him as one of the most exciting fighters in the sport. Unfortunately, he is currently on a two-fight skid after both Rafael dos Anjos and Eddie Alvarez gave him no room to work. Pettis last fought at UFC Fight Night 81 in an uneventful fight with Eddie Alvarez.

From left to right: Anthony Pettis & Edson Barboza | Credit: UFC

Even though Edson Barboza has lost two of his last three fights, the Brazilian owns a 10-4 UFC record and possesses the consensus best kicks in the promotion. Barboza is the owner of seven post-fight bonuses, including his wheel kick knockout at UFC 142 that is regarded as one of the best knockouts of all time. The Muay Thai practitioner has 25 kickboxing victories and 22 Muay Thai victories to his name. Barboza has won three times via leg kick TKO in the cage. The Valor MMA product’s last appearance was a thrilling back-and-forth submission defeat at the hands of Tony Ferguson at the TUF 22 Finale that was awarded “Fight of the Night”.

UFC 197 will be an excellent card, with a headline of Jon Jones taking on Daniel Cormier in an attempt to reclaim his UFC light heavyweight belt. The co-main event will be Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson taking on Henry Cejudo.

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