This weekend, as part of UFC Fight Night 57 in Austin, TX, former Strikeforce and King of The Cage product Bobby “King” Green combats striking phenom Edson “Junior” Barboza. Green has not lost since 2011 while Barboza recently returned to the win column with a win over Evan Dunham.

Both men love to strike, though they do it in much different ways. While Green implements power striking, Barboza plays the kicking game as well as any lightweight in the sport right now, and without question, his ace in the hole will forever be his leg kicks.

How does Green combat a fighter who can neutralize every one of his strengths with one hard leg kick?

Combinations

Green’s boxing has been sharpened with his recent trips to the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu camp, which only adds to the power he already packs in his hands, but training with the Diaz brothers and others does more than just adding punching power. Both Nick and Nate are known for putting together lengthy combinations against their foes on the feet, and unless memory deceives us, a high-pressure offense has overwhelmed Barboza in the past. Green needs to string together an “ultra-combo” or two against Barboza en route to a “W”, but like all strategies, it isn’t an easy one to pull off.

Mix it up

One of the best ways to beat Barboza involves takedowns. Normally, a man would need the wrestling of a Danny Castillo or a Jamie Varner to take “Junior” down, especially since he does strike above all else, but Barboza’s key strike, the leg kick, also leaves him open to get his leg caught and to get taken down.

Prepare for a long day at the office

Let’s just put it out there right now: Barboza has been rocked, stopped, and submitted before, but the man does not yet possess what many experts would call a “glass jaw.” Barboza has been out-struck in three of his eight UFC wins, but we must point out that in all three of those particular bouts, Barboza kept coming, despite taking the hardest shots that his foes had for them, and took home some form of a decision win as a result.

To put it in yeoman’s terms, Green must prepare for the prospect of this fight going the full three rounds, because as tough as the world knows Green to be, Barboza is also a durable man who does not go down without a fight. Come Saturday night in Austin, Barboza stands to give Green his toughest test to date inside the Octagon.

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.