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Barboza slips by Njokuani in excellent display of kickboxing at UFC 128

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

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Edson Barboza continued to impress in the UFC with his nasty kicks at UFC 128. The Brazilian took a unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three cards, in the Spike opener in Newark, N.J.

Update: FightMetric had Njokuani outlanding Barboza 72-46. He threw more as well attempting 188 to 151. Njokuani outpaced Barboza in the final two rounds 54-31 in strikes landed.

Barboza (8-0 , 2-0 UFC) opened the fight with a bang when he crushed Njokuani with a pair of right hands. Both landed cleanly on the temple as Njokuani went to the ground just 50 seconds in. He recovered, but didn't look to throw very much again until about a minute left in the round.

Njokuani (13-5, 0-1 UFC) made some nice adjustments in the second and let his offense work as his defense against Barboza's nasty muay thai. The Nigerian-born resident of Las Vegas switched his stances throughout and kept Barboza at bay with an array of leg, body and front kicks.

The final round was tight. Barboza landed some heavy shots while Njokuani threw and landed more. The Brazilian may have won the fight in the final 10 seconds when he landed an unbelievable spinning side kick. His right foot cracked Njokuani on the side of his face. It was amazing to see Njokuani still standing. Barboza must have been confident that he'd won the fight, because he backed away from the stunned Njokuani to celebrate as the clock ran out.

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Behind nasty left hand, Cane crushes Marshall

Eliot Marshall was looking for a big return to the UFC, but he met the wrong guy, in Luis Cane, a motivated, nasty striker.

In the opening 30 seconds of the fight, Cane, a southpaw, landed some big straight lefts and hooks. Marshall hit the floor at the 3:45 mark of the first and couldn't get a hold of Cane. He never got back to his feet as Cane refused to stop throwing punches. After several requests to fight back from referee Dan Miragliotta went unanswered by Marshall, Cane was given the TKO finish at the 2:15 mark of the first round.{ysp:more}

"I wanted this win so bad," Cane told UFC analyst Joe Rogan. "I came back to my gym, The Armory and we worked for eight months straight. That was the result."

Marshall (10-3, 3-2 UFC) was a late replacement for Karlos Vemola. After he was sent packing following a loss to Vladimir Matyushenko in a slow-paced fight at UFC on Versus 1, Marshall was hoping to make this a permanent return to the UFC.

Entering the fight, Cane (12-3, 4-3 UFC) had his back against the wall. The Brazilian striker had dropped two straight at UFC 106 and UFC 114. The combined time in those losses was just 4:09.

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