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Edson Barboza predicts he’ll win the UFC lightweight title in 2016

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Edson Barboza pocketed a fight of the night bonus following his UFC on FOX 16 win over Paul Felder in July, but wants more than a $50,000 check for his wins.

The Brazilian striker, who holds a 10-3 record inside the Octagon, wants a top 5 opponent for his next UFC bout, hoping that a win will grant him a shot at the belt.

"I’m ranked No. 6 in the division, and I have five guys ahead of me right now," Barboza told "In my last fights, I always fought fighters who were ranked below me, and I hope they give me one of those guys now. Khabib Nurmagomedov, Donald Cerrone, Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis ... I will fight anyone they want, and I’m sure I can beat any of them."

The Muay Thai specialist always expects a striking battle in his UFC fights, and believes match-ups against Alvarez or former champion Pettis would please the fans. However, he believes he has to be ready to face anyone if he wants to win the UFC title one day.

"Fans always prefer to watch standup wars. Pettis and Eddie Alvarez like this type, but it’s a MMA fight," he said. "I’m ready to fight anywhere, so I won’t pick and choose based on their style. Anyone, I’m ready."

Cerrone, who beat Barboza in 2014, will get the next shot at 155-pound champion Rafael dos Anjos, while both Pettis and Nurmagomedov recover from injuries. Alvarez recently defeated Gilbert Melendez in Mexico City, while Michael Johnson, who suffered a controversial decision loss to Beneil Dariush last Saturday, defeated Barboza via decision in February.

"My manager called me saying the UFC already asked him when I was going to be ready to fight. November is perfect for me," he said. "I have no injuries and I’m anxious to fight again."

Barboza hopes that an impressive win over a top-five opponent could get him title shot, or at least give him a fight against the number-one contender next.

"I truly believe that," Barboza said. "I’m more mature now, and it’s the perfect moment for me to grab that belt. I will go there and win the title next year. That’s my goal. My goal is to become the UFC champion. I believe I can, and I won’t stop until I win that title."