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Barboza v Murphy UFC fight preview & betting picks | May 18, 2024

Edson Barboza v Lerone Murphy UFC main event preview

Edson Barboza vs Lerone Murphy

Latest Odds & Fight Info

Main Event odds Barboza +120 at Bovada | Murphy -142.86 at Bovada
When Saturday, May 18 – main card from 4pm PDT
Where UFC APEX – Las Vegas, United States
Watch Live ESPN+ (US), BT Sport (UK), ESPN (AU), UFC Fight Pass

The main event for UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs Murphy in Las Vegas this Saturday night pits a Brazilian MMA striking legend against an unbeaten British fighter on the rise. Edson Barboza will be out to prove he is not a spent force after years battling the sport’s biggest names, while Lerone Murphy will have his eyes fixed on a top-10 ranking and a future shot at title glory.

Barboza v Murphy fight preview

Edson Barboza

Edson Barboza


Lerone Murphy

Lerone Murphy

24-11-0 MMA record 13-0-1
38 Age 32
5’11” Height 5’9″
145lbs Weight 145lbs
75″ Reach 73.5″
Brazil Nationality UK

Edson Barboza (24-11-0) made his UFC debut way back in 2010 and has competed against a generation of MMA talent. Highlights include wins over Anthony Pettis, Beneil Dariush, and Dan Hooker, and losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, and Justin Gaethje. The 38-year-old is still relevant in the featherweight division, having won his last two bouts to earn UFC bonuses on both occasions.

Barboza is a striker with some of the deadliest kicks and knees in the sport. He has suffered several form slumps that threatened to end his career, but he’s found a way to rebound on each occasion. There are signs of wear and tear from a long history of wars, and his chin will give out at some point — possibly mid-fight after a clean shot finds the target.

Lerone Murphy (13-0-1) is an undefeated fighter who made his UFC debut in 2019, resulting in a draw with Zubaira Tukhugov. He has been brought slowly through the featherweight ranks and has now broken into the top 15 with five straight victories. The Brit is a volume striker who throws lengthy combinations and will be looking to wear down his opponent as the bout enters the latter rounds.

Murphy has not fought the calibre of competitor he will face in Las Vegas, but an unbeaten record suggests he is yet to find his level. If he can get past this obstacle, the 32-year-old should only be two fights away from facing off with another contender for the right to contest the title. Wins over Joshua Culibao, Gabriel Santos, and Makwan Amirkhani are well below what it will take to claim the UFC silverware, but Murphy is still improving.

Barboza v Murphy betting strategy

This matchup is a classic contest between an elder statesman who has seen it all and a fresher, young rival looking to make a name for himself. Their skillsets appear evenly matched, although Murphy might have a slight edge in the wrestling and grappling departments. If they stand and strike, we should be in for a masterclass.

We are leaning toward the Brazilian with the hope that his chin does not desert him just yet. If he can wear the shots and fire back with power strikes, Barboza looks like good value.

Edson Barboza to win


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