Top-10 lightweights Edson Barboza and Kevin Lee will receive top billing for UFC Atlantic City in April.
UFC 223’s main event is between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, the two men they last defeated, Edson Barboza and Kevin Lee respectively, will cross paths in New Jersey. While the lightweight title picture is a bit of a mess right now, fights like this and Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje will help sort out who will be vying for a title shot in the future.
Edson Barboza is one of the most feared strikers in the lightweight division and won’t have to travel much for this fight, training out of Toms River, New Jersey. Barboza sandwiched an impressive three-fight win streak over Anthony Pettis, Gilbert Melendez, and a stunning knockout against Beneil Dariush in between losses to the top two lightweights on the active roster, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. Barboza is the only fighter with multiple leg kick TKOs in the UFC and has won by knockout 11 times out of his 19 career victories.
Kevin Lee slowly but surely rose through the lightweight division after dropping his promotional debut to Al Iaquinta. Winning nine of his next 10 appearances, Lee topped Francisco Trinaldo and Michael Chiesa to earn a shot at interim lightweight title against Tony Ferguson. Lee knocked down Ferguson and won the first two rounds, but could not withstand the submission attack of El Cucuy, tapping in the third round to a triangle choke.
UFC Atlantic City will take place from the Boardwalk Hall in New Jersey on April 21. Atlantic City has hosted an event eight times in the past, with the most recent being in 2014. Edson Barboza vs. Kevin Lee is the 10th fight reported for the card including Aljamain Sterling vs. Brett Johns, and Thiago Santos vs. David Branch.