After the spectacular event that was UFC 287, fight fans are set to be delighted as UFC Fight Night Kansas comes their way. The event will be headlined by a featherweight bout between former champion, Max Holloway and the undefeated Arnold Allen. Before that, the featherweight clash, Edson Barboza vs Billy Quarantillo, goes down in the co-main event.
Edson Barboza is a UFC veteran with a 16-11 record in the company. Despite having almost as many losses as wins in the UFC, Barboza is an elite fighter. During his UFC tenure, “Junior” has fought the who’s who of the lightweight division. His former opponents include champions such as Khabib Nurmagomedov and Anthony Pettis and interim champions like Justin Gaethje. However, Barboza hasn’t been his best self since the aforementioned Gaethje fight, even moving to featherweight to reignite his career.
“I love training, honest, but fighting is different. When I go in the cage, I see the crowd, hear everybody call my name… I can’t wait.”
— UFC News (@UFCNews) April 12, 2023
On the other hand, Billy Quarantillo, Barboza’s opponent, is relatively inexperienced in the UFC. However, he does have a respectable 6-2 record thus far into his short run with the company. Quarantillo won his first 3 fights in the UFC before he came up short against Shane Burgos. Interestingly, Burgos lost to Quarantillo’s upcoming opponent, Barboza, back in 2021 at UFC 262. Quarantillo is coming off a win at UFC 282 against Alexander Hernandez via standing TKO.
Quarantillo and Barboza: head-to-head stats
|Stats||Edson Barboza||Billy Quarantillo|
|Height||1.8 m||1.78 m|
|Reach||190.5 cm||177.8 cm|
Edson Barboza vs Billy Quarantillo: Fight Breakdown and Prediction
Heading into UFC Fight Night: Kansas City, there is no clear favorite to win this fight. Both men are very accomplished with wins over some tough opponents. But Billy Quarantillo edges out Edson Barboza in terms of finishing rate, with 76% of his fights ending in a finish.
When it comes to striking, the stats belie the true story. On paper, Billy Quarantillo outstrikes his opponent with 7.88 significant strikes landed to Barboza’s 3.96. However, Edson Barboza is one of the most feared strikers in UFC history. Quarantillo will need to shut down the Brazilian’s kicks immediately if he wants to win. Moreover, “Junior” also has a better striking defense than Billy.
Can Edson Barboza overcome Billy Quarantillo on Saturday? pic.twitter.com/nmNsnkdPd2
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) April 13, 2023
Billy will have the edge over Barboza in terms of grappling on Saturday. And this will be his best weapon against Barboza. Landing 1.55 takedowns in his fights with a 24% accuracy. He also attempts 1.24 submissions every 15 minutes. With his grappling and the threat of takedowns, the American featherweight can manage to nullify Edson’s striking.
With a 2-2 record in his last fight, Edson Barboza doesn’t have much momentum in his corner. And he is 37 years old which will affect his speed and reflexes. However, he is still one of the most terrifying strikers in the UFC and Quarantillo should not underestimate him. But being the younger man and having Gracie grappling on his side, Quarantillo can manage to find a relatively easy path to victory if he doesn’t get caught off-guard.