Prior to Frankie Edgar‘s last fight against Benson Henderson, he brought in some new training partners to help him prepare for the title rematch.
One of those fighters that came in specifically to help Edgar prepare was Brazilian knockout artist Edson Barboza, who worked with the former champion on his Muay Thai and kickboxing ahead of his bout with Henderson.
Unfortunately for Edgar, he wasn’t able to wrestle the championship away from Henderson after a close, split decision loss, but he did manage to gain a friend and teammate in Barboza along the way.
As a matter of fact, Barboza enjoyed his time so much working alongside Edgar and his team, that he picked up and moved to New Jersey as he prepared for his own fight coming up at UFC on FX 7 in his home country of Brazil.
Not only has Barboza found a new training camp, he’s also found a great friend in Edgar who has become a big brother of sorts to the UFC lightweight.
“For me, it’s Frankie Edgar,” Barboza told MMAWeekly.com what the biggest difference is working with his new team. “He’s the champ, he’s been the champ for a long time, that’s a big difference. Now I know I have good training partners and good coaches. Frankie he won the last fight with Ben Henderson, he’s the best.”
Edgar has taken Barboza under his wing as he’s been getting ready for another title fight, this time against Jose Aldo, as he makes his move down to the featherweight division. Both fighters have helped each other tremendously because Barboza is a world class Muay Thai fighter, and there may not be a person better suited to get Edgar ready for a bout against Aldo.
On the flip side, Edgar and his team of coaches that includes boxing guru Mark Henry, former UFC fighter Ricardo Almeida, and legendary teacher Renzo Gracie, have helped Barboza develop into what he believes is truly the most complete fighter he’s ever been.
“I need to prove everything. I’ve been working for this fight, I’m working with really professional guys. I’ve trained in Florida, I’ve trained in Brazil before, but here in Jersey the coaches are a big difference. I’m learning everything. I think the big difference from my last fight is I’m learning everything, every day. I’m training in everything – jiu-jitsu, wrestling, boxing – I think I’ve improved everything,” said Barboza.
And of course at every step along the way, Edgar has been there to show his support and help Barboza as he gets ready for his next test inside the Octagon.
“I train with him every day. Every day he picks me up at my house for training. Training in the morning, training in the afternoon, training at night, helping me with everything. He’s helped me; I’ve helped him. We’ve stuck together,” Barboza said about Edgar.
“That’s a big difference from my last camp. I’m very happy here because I train with the best guys, and I train with good friends. I think that makes a big difference training with good friends.”
The friends Barboza has made in America will continue to help him add more and more tools to his arsenal as he gets ready to head back into the cage, and back home to Brazil for UFC on FX 7 on Jan. 19.