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No punch or kick could keep Justin Gaethje from delivering the one that mattered most.
Gaethje (20-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) sent Edson Barboza (20-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) to the canvas at the 2:30 mark of the first round to earn his second consecutive first-round stoppage in the UFC.
The lightweight bout was the main event card today’s UFC on ESPN 2 show at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. It aired on ESPN following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
As predicted, the sluggers went straight to work on each other’s legs at the opening bell. Barboza was the first to go upstairs with his leg, but Gaethje was first to do damage with his fists, sending the Brazilian backward with a flurry of punches. Tying up against the fence, Barboza bought some time, and he stung Gaethje with a hard counter.
Problem was, Gaethje just kept coming. Leg kicks didn’t stop him, and as Barboza circled away, he landed a right hand that ended the fight with one shot.
Gaethje follows up a first-round knockout of James Vick with another highlight reel win, putting more distance between him and a pair of TKO losses that halted his momentum.
Barboza drops to 1-3 in his last four outings.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 2 results include:
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