What’s next for Edson Barboza and Sodiq Yusuff after UFC Vegas 81?

By Cole Shelton - October 16, 2023

In the main event of UFC Vegas 81, ranked featherweights threw down as Edson Barboza faced Sodiq Yusuff coming off a year-long layoff.

Edson Barboza and Sodiq Yusuff

Barboza entered the fight coming off a first-round knockout over Billy Quarantillo in April to return to the win column after losing two fights in a row. Yusuff, meanwhile, hadn’t fought since October of 2022 when he beat Don Shainis by submission in 30-seconds, and before that, beat Alex Caceres by decision.

Ultimately, it was Edson Barboza who got the win at UFC Vegas 81 as he beat Sodiq Yusuff by decision. Yusuff started out strong as he rocked Barboza and nearly finished him en route to a 10-8 first round. However, Barboza from there on in, took control of the fight and won a clear-cut decision.

Now, following UFC Vegas 81, here is what I think should be next for both men involved in the main event.

Edson Barboza

Edson Barboza continues to turn back the clock as he earned a hard-fought decision over Sodiq Yusuff on Saturday. The Brazilian is now on a two-fight win streak and improved to 18-11 in the UFC.

With the win, Barboza will likely get someone in the top 10, and his next fight should be another main event against the returning Calvin Kattar. Kattar should be back in early 2024 from his knee injury, so the timelines align for Kattar and Barboza to throw down with the winner being likely a fight or two away from a title shot.

Sodiq Yusuff

Sodiq Yusuff had dealt with a serious back injury before this but still looked good in the fight despite the loss. He had nearly finished Edson Barboza in the first round and had a very close fight with the legend.

Despite the loss, Yusuff is still a top-15 featherweight and his next fight should be against Dan Ige. Both Yusuff and Ige have had chances to break into the top 10 but have lost some key fights. The winner would get another chance at the top 10 while the loser will likely have to fight some unranked opponent.


Edson Barboza Sodiq Yusuff UFC