ByRyan Matsunaga, writer at Creators.co
https://twitter.com/RyanMatsu
Ryan Matsunaga

Edson Barboza took a big step up in competition tonight, taking on former champion Anthony Pettis at UFC 197.

Barboza proved why he's on the rise though, controlling the momentum of the fight for three straight rounds. He managed to shut down Pettis's kicking game, outstriking his opponent nearly 2-1.

The first round set the pace with Barboza combining vicious leg kicks and a lightning fast left hook to start piling on the damage. The second and third rounds were much the same, and by the end of the fight, Pettis's leg was swollen was bruised.

Pettis went for broke as the fight closed out, throwing some huge spinning and flying attacks, but it wasn't enough. Barboza was just too quick, and seemed like he escaped this fight mostly unscathed.

He handily defeated Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision, and will likely now jump significantly in the lightweight top-10 rankings.

You can read our full play-by-play here.