Edson Barboza is widely considered one of the brightest up-and-coming contenders in the lightweight division. However, the dynamic Brazilian striker has yet to meet a seasoned veteran like the one he will meet at UFC 146 on Saturday.
Though the former WEC champion might not have panned out into the fighter many thought he would, Jamie Varner will provide a very different test than any the 26-year-old Barboza has faced so far in his young career. While it has been more than one year since Varner faced top-notch competition in the WEC, this chance to return to the UFC could bring out the best in a seasoned veteran who is still only 27 years old.
With this intriguing matchup only a couple days away, let's take a look at whether Barboza will take his next step toward a 155-pound title shot or Varner will mount an unlikely upset and return to relevance in the lightweight division.