Landing in the UFC has allowed featherweight Sodiq Yusuff to show how he stacks up with the world’s best. Yusuff has passed seven of his eight tests since joining the promotion after winning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. Yusuff’s only loss came to top-10 contender Arnold Allen.

But Yusuff’s resume pales in comparison to his opponent this weekend. Brazilian Edson Barboza has fought some of the best fighters in UFC history. Barboza has wins over Bobby Green, Paul Felder, Beneil Dariush and Anthony Pettis. Barboza’s record doesn’t quite reflect what type of fighter he is.

Barboza is 23-11 but has also taken losses to some of the top fighters in the company’s history: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje along with talented contenders Giga Chikadze, Bryce Mitchell and Dan Ige. Barboza’s frightening power, he has 14 knockouts in his career, will give this 10-fight card a main event worthy of a fight night. 

This Was Supposed to Happen Earlier

Yusuff, ranked No. 11, pulled out of a scheduled bout between him and Barboza in October 2020. There have been real illness concerns with Yusuff since the pandemic. Yusuff, who is 15-2 in his career, struggled to regain his health after contracting COVID-19.

Yusuff also took a year off before this bout with Barboza. No. 13 Barboza has slowed down over the past few years. After fighting twice in 2021, Bazboza’s only fight in 2022 was a unanimous decision loss to Mitchell. Barboza got back in the win column after losing five of seven fights by knocking out Billy Quarantillo with a knee during fight night in April. This should be an exciting fight between two featherweights ready to make noise.

Maia Would Like Emphatic Victory

Grinding your way to a decision isn’t going to make you stand out in a deep women’s flyweight division. Former title challenger Jennifer Maia has run into several tough opponents since losing to Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 264 in July 2021 in her lone challenge at UFC gold. But Maia hasn’t gotten back on the right side of the ledge as of late.

Maia has won two consecutive fights against Casey O’Neill and Maryna Moroz. Her upcoming opponent, Viviane Araujo, has also fought some of the best fighters in the division. Araujo has lost consecutive fights to top contender Amanda Ribas and current champion Alexa Grasso. Araujo has won seven of her 11 fights by decision, and Maia hopes to pull her into an all-out war.

Nine of Maia’s victories have come by finish, while 19 of her fights have gone to the scorecards. Maia’s last win by finish was an upset win by submission in August 2020 over Joanne Calderwood.

Top Bantamweights Seek To Move Up Rankings

Adrian Yanez took a tough knockout fight for Rob Font last time out. Yanez had won nine straight fights before taking the first TKO loss of his career. During Yanez’s career, he has had a penchant for entertaining fights. He has already earned four performance of the night bonuses in his UFC career and also won the Fight of the Night award once.

Yanez’s planned opponent, Jonathan Martinez, has now won five straight fights since suffering the first knockout loss of his career to Davey Grant. Martinez is also a striker who is willing to mix it up with his opponents. Ten of Martinez’s 22 career fights have reached a decision, while he’s won eight others by knockout. 

Rematch Can Set History Book’s Straight

Daniel Lacerda will once again likely be fighting for his career in a bantamweight fight with Edgar Chairez. The duo’s first bout in 2023 ended in bizarre and controversial circumstances. While trying to defend a standing guillotine choke from Chairez, Lacerda relaxed his body to relieve the pressure.

The referee took his arms going limp as a sign that Lacerda had gone unconscious. He quickly moved in to wave off the fight, but Lacerda signaled immediately after that he had not, in fact, gone unconscious. After a video review, the fight was labeled as a no contest. This will be a chance for both fighters to get back in the win column.

Lacerda, especially, needs a win. Before the no-contest back in September, he had lost four straight fights by finish. Lacerda had lost three of those fights by TKO and once by submission.

Top Prospects Want to Protect Reputations

Cameron Saaiman has gotten off to a good start in his UFC career. The South African bantamweight has won his first three fights on the main roster to improve to 9-0 in his career. Saaiman, 22, is a young prospect who still has plenty to prove.

He only has nine professional fights under his belt and has won seven by stoppage. Saaiman’s opponent, Christian Rodriguez, is 9-1 in his career and is coming off a win where he earned plenty of eyeballs. Fighting against 18-year-old phenom Raul Rosas Jr., Rodriguez handled the young fighter and earned a unanimous decision. Rodriguez isn’t that much more experienced than Rosas.

He will want to prove that fight last April wasn’t a fluke and get back into the win column against another top prospect.

Elkins Preps for Another Wild Fight 

Featherweight Darren Elkins has a tattoo scrawled across his chest that says “The Damage.” Usually, in Elkins’ case, that is in the beating inflicted on his opponent, but also the beating he takes in the process. Elkins is an all-go action fighter that is durable and difficult to finish.

He will be fighting against T.J. Brown this weekend. Brown is a grappling specialist who has finished 10 of his 17 career victories by submission. He has lost two of his last three fights, including a submission loss to Algeo last April.

Brown will have his hands full. Elkins, 39, is long in the tooth but has the benefit of plenty of cage experience.