The fight was a lot of fun, especially for people who like a good contrast in striking styles. Barboza has a wider array of strikes in his arsenal, and he showed a lot of them off during the fight, with combinations, spinning kicks and knees. Pearson, however, is a better pure boxer than Barboza, and when Pearson could close the distance and land punches, he had the advantage.
The fight could have gone either way, but two judges scored it 29-28 for Barboza, while one scored it 29-28 for Pearson.
The 25-year-old Barboza improved to 9-0 in his MMA career and said afterward that he'd like to move up and take on tougher opposition in the lightweight division. It would be interesting to see Barboza against a good wrestler; we've seen what Barboza can do standing up, but we haven't seen how he does when the fight goes to the ground.
Pearson, a former Ultimate Fighter winner, has now lost two of his last three. But he fought well against Barboza and should continue to get good fights within the lightweight division. Both of these guys put on a good show.
Rousimar Palhares fights off his back against Dan Miller at UFC 134 on Aug. 27, 2011 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Esther Lin, MMA Fighting" data-gallery-title="UFC 134 Photos" data-gallery-id="2911693" >