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Undefeated vs Veteran: Why Is Murphy Favored to Upset Barboza?

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns from Missouri following a successful St Louis Fight Night and prepares the Apex in Vegas for another 12 close-quarter battles between the octagon’s finest.

Tyson Fury won’t be the only British man in a combat sports main event position this weekend, as Manchester’s Lerone Murphy will look to extend his undefeated pro record versus a veteran KO artist in Edson Barboza.

Undefeated vs. Veteran: Why Is Murphy Favored to Upset Barboza?
Edson Barboza of Brazil - Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

MMA betting lines have already weighed in as Murphy enters as a slight favorite, but now it’s time to deliver our fight preview, breakdown, and prediction for this weekend’s UFC main event bout.

 

 

UFC Vegas 92 Event Information

  • Date & Time: Saturday, May. 18, 2024 – 04:00 p.m. ET
  • Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas
  • How to Watch: UFC Fight Pass & ESPN+
  • Barboza vs Murphy Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
  • Co-Main Event Bout: Khaos Williams vs Carlston Harris
  • Moneyline Probability: Barboza – 46.5% (+115) Murphy – 59.2% (-145)

 

Edson “Junior” Barboza: Can He Win 3rd Straight as Underdog?

Fourteen years and an 18-11 UFC record later, Edson Barboza is proving that age isn’t anything but a number, no Diddy!

However, critics were expecting retirement announcements when he suffered back-to-back losses against Giga Chikadze and Bryce Mitchell two years ago, as many believed signs of aging, far from his prime Barboza were creeping through.

Aged 37 at the time, bookmakers echoed the above sentiment as bouts with Billy Quarantillo and Sodiq Yusuff saw plus-money on Brazil’s fan favorite, and boy did he prove us wrong. There’s still life in the old dog yet, and now, at 38 years old, Barboza will look to defy the odds once more and win his third straight contest as a betting underdog.

 

 

Lerone “The Miracle” Murphy: Undefeated Brit Favored

When Lerone Murphy first stepped into a gym and began training mixed martial arts in 2013, his Saturday opposition, Edson Barboza, was already 7-1 as a UFC competitor. Therefore, it’s safe to say that experience doesn’t favor the Brit, as he’ll attempt to receive a passing of the torch from one of the featherweight divisions’ most dangerous and experienced fighters.

That said, the confidence levels of Murphy won’t be compromised. Sure, Barboza will be his biggest fight to date, but after slowly climbing through the 145-pound rankings to collect a 5-0-1 undefeated record, he’s favored at the sportsbook for a reason.

Here’s a look at some UFC 301 odds to consider!

 

What Lerone Murphy Said About UFC Vegas 92 Main Event

Murphy realizes the fortunate position he’s in and reveals his plan to get to the top in an interview with UFC.com:

I’m fighting Edson Barboza – a classic legend of the sport who was fighting in the UFC from before I did MMA, so I have to look at that and be realistic and say I’ve done well to get to this point now.

But that’s not where we’re stopping. We’re aiming for the top. I’ve been working hard, and I’m not gonna stop until I get to the top. That’s my dream. That’s my goal.”

 

 

Barboza vs. Murphy: The Tale of The Tape

Brazil
Country
UK
38
Age
32
24-11-0
Pro Record (Win/Loss)
13-0-1
13 KOs, 2 Submissions
KO/Submission
7 KOs, 0 Submissions
5’11”
Height
5’9”
75.0”
Reach
73.0”
11:45
Avg Fight Time
11:35
0.7
Knockdown Avg (15 min)
0.43
4.18
Avg Strikes Landed Per Min
3.65
0.48
Takedown Avg (15 min)
1.29
W/W/L/L/W
Win/Loss (Last 5)
W/W/W/W/W

 

Barboza vs. Murphy Fight Tape

Barboza, renowned as one of the most prominent Muay Thai kickboxing specialists in UFC history, has built his reputation on emphatic knockouts and striking masterclasses that have proven too much for 18 opponents to handle.

At this point, it’s no secret what Barboza is going to implement within his game plan. Whether he’s at mid or long-range, a kickboxing onslaught should be expected, and those who play into his wheelhouse are likely going to suffer a disappointing night.

 

 

Technical deficiencies in Murphy’s game are clear. He can often neglect some fundamentals within his striking offense. He hasn’t displayed scary-like power; combinations can sometimes feel lackluster, but a few key pointers have got him to this main eventing position.

Behind a youth, agility, and cardio edge over Barboza, his path to victory is live. He does a great job of blending his wrestling well with the striking, is always active, and while he isn’t a specialist in one area, his skillset is diverse and commendable in all facets of MMA.

 

Take A Look At These Other 2 UFC Special Articles

  • Barboza has won two consecutive bouts as a betting underdog
  • Murphy is undefeated as a UFC competitor (5-0-1)
  • Barboza has won 50% of his UFC bouts (29) inside the distance
  • Murphy has gone the distance in four of his six UFC bouts
  • Barboza has gone the distance in five of his previous eight UFC bouts

 

UFC Vegas 92 Main Event: A Betting Perspective

On a skill-for-skill basis, it’s hard to argue against Barboza’s superiority. However, Murphy, despite not showcasing his full MMA mastery, has a knack for finding a way to win. This unpredictability, coupled with Barboza’s age and potential cardio issues, adds an intriguing layer to the fight.

Picking an outright winner for this bout will have most people clutching at straws, so instead, looking toward the total MMA odds feels a lot safer in what otherwise feels like a 50/50 fight.

Whether Barboza’s clear, striking advantages reign supreme, or if Murphy can utilize a potential cardio advantage and significant age discrepancy to his advantage, I don’t envision either man suffering an early stoppage.

The over/under is set at 3 ½ rounds, and I like the former in this spot. Murphy has been defensively sound even in his average performances, and while Barboza’s chin could be questioned, I don’t believe his weekend opposition has the power to cause him serious harm.

Bet on UFC and secure the top UFC odds tonight!

My Best Bet: Over 3 ½ Rounds (-150)

 

 

Questions of the Day

How many knockouts does Edson Barboza have?


Since his professional MMA debut in 2009, Edson Barboza has won 13 fights via KO/TKO.

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