MMA Preview – Edson Barboza vs Justin Gaethje at UFC on ESPN 2

AT A GLANCE

When is UFC on ESPN 2? Saturday 30th March, 2019 – 23:00 (UK)

Where is UFC on ESPN 2? Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What channel is UFC on ESPN 2? BT Sport 2

Where can I stream UFC on ESPN 2? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT website

For viewers in the United States, the game will be shown live and you can take advantage of a free trial with ESPN+ and subscribe now by clicking here!

Are tickets still available for UFC on ESPN 2? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets

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THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

The UFC are doing their best to impress the ESPN brass by headlining their second card with two of the most exciting and ferocious strikers in the lightweight division. Edson Barboza and Justin Gaethje meet in Philadelphia with contrasting techniques but the same violent intentions.

Barboza is a technical striker from a Muay Thai and Taekwondo background. He has some of the most dangerous kicks in the UFC and after two recent losses against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee, he looked back to his best in a more favourable match-up against against Dan Hooker who lasted nearly three rounds of brutal punishment.

Gaethje also bounced back from two losses by knocking James Vick out cold in his last fight. This was after two wars with Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier and although these were the first losses of his career, his stock is still high as all his fights are exhilarating. In his four UFC fights, he has earned two fights of the year, one fight of the night and one performance of the night. No wonder he is on the ESPN card.

THE PREDICTION

This is destined to be a merciless exchange that won’t last the five rounds. Gaethje’s aggression and willingness to trade has helped him rack up 16 knockouts but it has also made him liable to absorbing damage which you cannot afford to do against Barboza.

Gaethje has not called upon his grappling skills yet in the UFC which is baffling considering he is a NCAA Division 1 calibre wrestler. Wrestling has also been the only effective method in stifling Barboza’s elite stand-up skills so you would think Gaethje would plan to take the Brazilian down.

However, what has made Gaethje a huge fan-favourite is that he does not care about game plans and simply wants to throw bombs and leg kicks. However, if he abandons his grappling again, Barboza will chew him up with all eight limbs.

Winner: Barboza via KO/TKO

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric