Late last month, UFC lightweight Edson Barboza found out he would be facing Rafaello Oliveira and UFC 162 instead of John Makdessi. Though the change could technically be ruled “late notice”, Barboza’s month to prepare for a different opponent is a solid chunk of time, and, when considering the respective styles of Oliveira-Makdessi, the more he’s had the better.
“I think Makdessi is a pretty good striker while Rafaello has a good game on the ground. They have really different games from each other,” explained Barboza in an interview with MMAJunkie.
“I know Rafaello might be looking to wrestle,” he continued, saying he’d be prepared no matter what Oliveira threw his way. “It’s a MMA fight, so I have been training everything: boxing, wrestling, jiu-jistu and muay Thai. Anything can happen in a MMA fight.”
Barboza is 11-1 with wins in the Octagon over Terry Etim, Anthony Njokuani, and Ross Pearson. Comparably, Oliveira (16-5) will be fighting for the first time in a year but can at least claim nine career stoppages to his credit.