Billy Quarantillo is entering the biggest fight of his career to date when he meets Brazilian veteran Edson Barboza tomorrow night (Sat., April 15, 2023) at UFC Kansas City live on ESPN and ESPN+ from inside T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The featherweight matchup will serve as the co-main, which will be the highest billing for Quarantillo so far in his UFC career.
Quarantillo, 34, has quickly turned into one of the biggest fan favorites on the UFC roster. The former Contender Series winner often takes a beating before dishing it out, but that has produced countless Fight of the Night candidates when Quarantillo steps inside of the Octagon. It’s not the greatest method of victory, but Quarantillo’s efforts have allowed him to stand out in a jam-packed featherweight division.
That said, this weekend will be Quarantillo’s most dangerous test yet. Barboza is one of the most seasoned strikers on the UFC roster today and a veteran who has done it all inside of the cage. It will be up to Quarantillo to rise to the occasion again and prove he’s a top 15 talent.
“This is easily the toughest opponent I’ve ever fought. This is the biggest fight of my career,” Quarantillo told reporters during UFC Kansas City’s media day earlier this week. “This fight has the potential to do the most for my career, get me to that next level, get me even bigger names down the road, that top-15 ranking. So obviously I’m super excited about this one.”
“It’s definitely intimidating watching his highlight reel, and it’s a highlight reel I’ve watched as a fan,” he added.
While Quarantillo already holds victories over the likes of Alexander Hernandez, Gabriel Benitez, and Spike Carlyle, none of those fighters will increase his UFC stock quite like Barboza would. And even though Barboza is just 2-5 in his last seven trips to the Octagon a victory over him will put Quarantillo on an entirely new career level.
“I think it’s going to put my name up there, more mainstream, with a lot more casual fans,” said Quarantillo. “Being the co-main event, if I can go out there and get a huge finish, it puts me into that next level of UFC fighter where – I always joke about, there’s like that row of UFC fighters, and they go by the row and it’s like, ‘I know this guy, this guy, this guy.’ Hopefully I can get invited to that row after this fight, and that’s where it puts me.”
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