The English native became the first fighter in UFC history to get knocked out by a spinning wheel kick. The spectacular finish came late in the third round.
Barboza and Etim earned fight of the night honors for a competitive and entertaining scrap. As the third round winded down, Barboza pulled off a beautiful spinning wheel kick, smashing his heel clean across Etim's face.
The brunt force of the kick sent Etim crashing to the canvas like a log.
It's hard enough on a fighter to taste the bitter pill of defeat, but for Etim, he knows he'll be on the wrong end of a major highlight reel for years to come.
There's no use dwelling over the past. Etim is still a solid talent in the lightweight division. He has some major defensive issues in regards to his wrestling and striking, but at only 26 years of age, he has plenty of time to shore up holes in his fight game.
Here are five fights Etim should take next...
At welterweight, TJ Grant was about as consistent as a checker board.
In his lightweight debut, Grant looked impressive in submitting former WEC star Shane Roller.
Grant has generally flown under the radar throughout his UFC tenure, but he has the tools to be a legitimate talent at 155-pounds.
Etim would certainly have his hands full in this bout, as Grant is one of the most well-rounded fighters on this list.
Spencer Fisher is 1-4 in his last five bouts, but longtime fans have grown to love "The King's" aggressive and reckless style.
A win over a big time veteran name like Fisher may just be what Etim needs to gain the confidence to push past the Barboza bout and move forward.
If the UFC opts to ease Etim back into the lightweight mix, Cody McKenzie would make for a great comeback opponent.
Outside of a nasty guillotine choke, McKenzie doesn't have much to offer Etim in the open in regards to striking.
This would be a great fight for Etim to get back on the winning track.
It would be a tough break for Etim to have to face Yves Edwards immediately after suffering such a devastating knockout loss to Barboza, but it's hard to deny such an intriguing style matchup.
Etim and Edwards show a lot of versatility in the striking department.
With both coming off losses, this bout seems like a no-brainer.
With Sam Stout and Etim both coming off losses at UFC 142, this bout makes a lot of sense as far as timing is concerned.
Stylistically, this is a great pairing. Stout and Etim both have a knack for being aggressive strikers with great durability over the course of a fight.
Etim's knockout loss to Barboza marked the first of his professional career.