This is the UFC on ESPN 8 live blog for Dan Ige vs. Edson Barboza, a featherweight main card bout at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.
Ige is on a tear in the featherweight division with five wins on his recent resume. Barboza, meanwhile, is looking for new life at 145 pounds after a 1-4 run at lightweight.
Check out the UFC on ESPN 8 live blog below.
Round 1: Jason Herzog is the third man in the cage for this featherweight bout. Ige comes out and lands a good combination right away. Barboza responds with a good knee. Ige is pressing the action and corralling the kicker. Barboza lands a clean right hand to the temple that drops Ige and Barboza follows him down! Ige ties Barboza up in guard and is trying to regain his wits. After a bit of posturing, Barboza baits an armbar and then unloads with some huge hammerfists. Ige survives and eventually forces a scramble and on the feet, Barboza lands a powerful left hook to the body. Iige looks to be recovered and he’s back to working the hands. Ige appears to be the quicker fighter but Barboza clearly has the power advantage. Ige is pressuring less now, having tasted the power of Barboza. Ige lands a good combo but Barboza lands another big shot that opens up Ige under his right eye. Ige pressures forward and forces a clinch but Barboza separates quickly. Ige is definitely throwing more but now Barboza is controlling the center of the cage and letting Barboza dictate the range is a recipe for disaster. The round ends without anything else notable happening.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Barboza.
Round 2: Barboza has a pretty large hematoma on his right cheek that the cutman did not address and Ige storms out to start round two, firing shots. that have Barboza backing up. Barboza lands a big body kick that stems the surge. Ige is taking away the space from Barboza now though and this is a much more effective strategy for him. Ige steps in with strikes and forces a clinch and now Barboza is bleeding from the bridge of his nose. Barboza gets the Thai clinch and lands a good knee. Ige has done a pretty good job of avoiding the kicks or Barboza and lands a big right hand that wobbles Barboza. Huge low kick from Barboza but Ige responds with a combination that has Barboza shelling up. Big body kick from Barboza. Ige forces a clinch and lands a big body shot and a good elbow. Back at range, Ige shoots for a takedown and that may have been a bad idea as Barboza sprawls and briefly threatens with an anaconda choke before standing again. Ige lands an uppercut but gets hit with a body kick that hurts Ige and he’s covering up. Barboza steps in and Ige shoots a weak takedown and then pulls guard. Barboza starts raining punches to Ige’s body and what had been a good round for Ige ends in disaster.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 for Barboza (20-18 overall).
Round 3: Barboza takes the center of the cage to start the final round and he’s now targeting body shots. A good 1-2 lands from Barboza. Ige is loading up on punches more now, clearly thinking he needs a finish, but no much is landing. Barboza lands another kick to the body. Ige stepping in with single punches now and Barboza is able to avoid most of them. Barboza grabs a Thai clinch and Ige is backed up against the fence. Barboza lands a big hook to the body and Ige shoots another weak takedown that Barboza steps out of easily. Big punch from Ige gets Barboza to take a step back now. Heavy low kick from Barboza. Ige now trying to land body kicks. Ige is trying a lot of things to make something happen. Ige drives Barboza into the cage and gets a trip takedown! 90 seconds left and Ige has Barboza on his back and is trying to advance and land ground-and-pound but Barboza is just tying up to defend. A few shots are getting through from Ige but Barboza is tying hiim up well and the round ends with Ige still trapped in the butterfly guard of Barboza.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Ige, 29-28 Barboza overall.
OFFICIAL DECISION: Dan Ige defeats Edson Barboza by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).