Kansas City — Longtime UFC staple Edson Barboza returns to action at UFC Kansas City this Saturday, taking on the rising Billy Quarantillo in the evening’s co-main event.
Barboza (22-11) has had his share of main event spots during his near-13 years with the promotion, and a whole lot of co-headlining slots as well. Which has left the Brazilian proclaiming himself the “King of the Co-Main event.”
“I think I’m the King of the Co-Main event. Nobody in the UFC has more co-main events than me,” Barboza told media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC Kansas City media day. “I’m very excited for this one. I know it’s going to be a big war.”
King of the Co-Main Event or not, Barboza has also been King of Consistency. Like Jim Miller before him, Barboza spent the entirety of his UFC career never withdrawing from a fight until recently. Then, last October, he was forced out of a date Ilia Topuria— due to not one but three separate injuries in his knees.
The time off since has allowed Barboza to “focus on recovering my knee. I had a really bad injury, I had three different injuries in my knee. It was the first time in my career I had to pull out of a fight.” The decision to withdraw, Barboza added, was “super hard, because a lot of fights, I was fighting with some injury. For this one, I really tried, but I can’t walk. I can’t walk, it’s impossible.”
On the plus side, he’ll fully recovered and ready to go. “Very happy to be healthy right now,” said Barboza. “I’m 100%.”
Still, it was not an easy decision to withdraw from the Topuria match-up.
“Definitely not. That’s why I’m almost 13 years in the UFC. The UFC knows, whoever the UFC gives me, I’m going to say yes. I never say no for a fight. Sometimes my manager, my team says ‘oh I think that’s not good for you right now,’ I get so mad. ‘Yeah that’s good for me right now.’ I want to fight anybody. I never say no for a fight. That’s why I was 13 years in the UFC.”
As to why that is, the answer is simple. “Because I’m a fighter.”
Watch the full UFC Kansas City media day appearance by Edson Barboza above.