Pearson vs. Barboza Pick
According to oddsmakers, Barboza, the Brazilian, is the favorite to win with odds of -325. Pearson comes in with a money line of +250 on Saturday. UFC 134 takes place from the HSBC Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will air live on Pay-Per-View at 9PM ET.
WHY PICK BARBOZA
Barboza (8-0) is unbeaten in his career with six wins by knockout. Two of those wins came by leg kicks, as he has some of the most devastating kicks in MMA. Barboza is coming off a decision win over fellow striker, Anthony Njokuani, but he has yet to be tested by an experience vet like Pearson. A few leg kicks from Barboza should be enough to slow down Pearson, and Barboza clearly has the striking edge in this contest. When it comes to the ground, Barboza has some submission skills, but we don’t know how talented he is as of yet. He will have the home town backing, as he hails from Brazil.
WHY PICK PEARSON
Pearson (12-4) is a former Ultimate Fighter winner and he is 4-1 in the octagon. His lone loss came by submission to Cole Miller, but he has impressive wins over the likes of Spencer Fisher and Dennis Siver. Pearson is a scrapper, with good boxing technique and respectable wrestling. I don’t suspect he will want to get into a striking contest with Barboza, because of the leg kicks, so I believe he will look for takedowns and hope to control his opponent on the ground. Pearson will have the experience edge in this fight, as this is not the biggest fight he has had in his career.
WHO TO PICK?
This fight will show just where Barboza is. Is he just a one-dimensional fighter? Or, is he a legit contender at 155. Pearson is a scrapper, but a few leg kicks will spell the end of his night. It is hard to prepare for leg kicks of this nature, and I think they will throw Pearson off his game early and allow Barboza to control the fight. I look for Barboza to win by decision after picking Pearson apart.
UFC 134 FREE PICK: EDSON BARBOZA -325