Murphy breaks out with dominant win vs. Barboza

Lerone Murphy will find a number next to his name in the UFC rankings on Monday after he dominated Edson Barboza for a unanimous decision in Saturday’s main event of UFC Vegas 92 at the UFC Apex.

Murphy (14-0-1 MMA, 6-0-1 UFC) was explosive from the outset and punished Barboza with a wicked assortment of punches and kicks throughout the 25-minute affair. It was a breakout performance from the 32-year-old that put the featherweight division on notice.

Barboza, 38, entered the fight as a battle-tested striker but found himself on the wrong end of Murphy’s blistering output.

The opening round was relatively even: a battle of Barboza’s leg kicks and precision striking against Murphy’s explosive offense. It didn’t take long for the Brazilian to make his mark and sink a thudding leg kick into Murphy. Between the leg kicks and the body attack, Barboza (24-12, 18-12 UFC) looked to be in great shape in the early minutes. But Murphy ate everything that Barboza had and fired back with an even more violent series of strikes. Murphy had a scary moment toward the end of the round when he ran into an upkick that dazed him as he attempted to chase Barboza to the canvas.

Murphy steadied himself at the beginning of Round 2, and the two exchanged hard punches. Barboza kept feeding Murphy a steady diet of leg kicks in an attempt to compromise his explosiveness. Unfortunately, Murphy was resilient and had a series of receipts for the Brazilian. A late head kick and straight right hand rattled Barboza, and it became obvious that he was wilting under the pressure.

The third round spoke more about Barboza’s heart than anything else, as Murphy dominated the round with heavy punches and mixed in a few leg kicks of his own to add insult to injury. To his credit, Barboza wouldn’t go away despite each strike taking the wind out of his sails.

Barboza briefly sprang to life with a spinning back kick to the body in the fourth round, but Murphy wouldn’t be denied and walked right through it. More punishment ensued and he rode the momentum into the final round where the product from Manchester, England continued to bounce punches off his opponent until the final bell.

Murphy, who said during his post-fight interview that he will change his nickname from “The Miracle” to “Iceman,” has won six fights in a row and has the second-longest streak at featherweight alongside champion Ilia Topuria. Movsar Evloev leads the division with seven consecutive wins.

Barboza’s two-fight winning streak ends, and he is now 2-3 in his last five fights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *