Edson Barboza added another highlight to a career filled with them after he demolished Billy Quarantillo in the first round in the UFC Kansas City co-main event.
Regarded as one of the most brutal and creative strikers in the history of the UFC, Barboza launched his knee up the middle at the same time Quarantillo made a crucial mistake by ducking his head to look for a takedown. The knee landed flush and Quarantilly crashed face first into the canvas as the referee rushed in to stop the fight with the end coming at 2:37 in the opening round.
FIRST ROUND KO FOR EDSON BARBOZA #UFCKansasCity pic.twitter.com/w3DpcsX1RZ— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 16, 2023
It was yet another jaw-dropping finish for Barboza, who has nine knockouts on his UFC resume with this latest victory.
“I train exactly this move for eight weeks,” Barboza said about the finish. “Please, [I want to fight] somebody in front of me in the rankings. Edson Barboza is still alive. I’m in the best shape of my life and I promise the next one is going to be much, much better.”
With lightning quick kicks and powerful hands, Barboza was looking to set the tone early while Quarantillo smartly attempted to close the distance and make the Brazilian consider his wrestling.
Barboza was able to stay away from Quarantillo while blasting him with a couple of nasty leg kicks early that made an immediate impact. Undeterred, Quarantillo continued coming forward and he actually tagged Barboza with a stiff shot that showed he was no slouch on the feet either.
As Quarantillo pressed the action, he forced Barboza back towards the cage when he threw a combination of punches before looking for the takedown. Barboza made him pay with the knee that connected directly on target and put Quarantillo down and out on the canvas.
It was a truly impressive performance from Barboza, who has suffered through a lot of ups and downs in recent years but remains must-see television every time he sets foot in the cage.