The UFC travels to The Philippines for the first time this weekend as Fight Night 66 takes place in the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, part of the greater metropolitan region of Manila. It’s a middle of the road card with a great main event and plenty of potential for some fun fights throughout. Viewers in Ireland will be able to watch the entire event live on Fight pass starting at 12 noon with the main card kicking off at 15:00.
The Main event
In the main event Urijah Faber will return to featherweight to take on perennial top contender and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. With Faber’s team-mate T.J. Dillashaw currently reigning supreme over the Bantamweight division, Urijah has had to return to 145 pounds for a chance to claim that elusive UFC gold, a win over the top ranked Edgar could lead to a shot at the winner of Aldo vs. McGregor.
Frankie Edgar might be the best fighter in the UFC without a championship belt, after dropping to featherweight in 2013 he lost a close decision to current champion Jose Aldo. Since then he has won three in a row including utterly dominating performances against the highly regarded Cub Swanson and the MMA legend B.J Penn. Frankie is extremely well rounded with exceptional MMA wrestling, smothering top control and a crisp stand up game aided by his flawless footwork. He also possesses unmatched cardio inside the octagon, he will never get tired and he will never slow down. His submission game is perhaps underutilised but always a threat, he prefers to use his jiu-jitsu to maintain control and relentlessly attack from the top position. The only perceived weakness of his game is lacking true knockout power and a varied kicking offence, it was Aldo’s superior power in the early rounds of their bout that won him the decision.
At age 35, Urijah Faber is already a legend in MMA, he is unbeaten in non-title fights but has come up short in his three attempts at taking UFC gold. He is highly skilled in all areas of MMA, he can hurt you on the feet and transition to a submission within seconds. If he holds any advantage over Edgar going into this fight, it’s definitely his grappling game, he needs to tie Edgar up in the Clinch, take away his movement, secure a dominant position and look for a choke. Urijah has a strong guillotine and a lightning fast rear naked, he needs to find a way to slow Edgar down and contest the fight at his pace.
Frankie will be the strong favourite going into this fight, he’s faster, more dynamic and will be extremely tough to finish. If Faber can use his strength and power to take the early rounds, if his cardio can hold up for all 25 minutes, then he may have a chance for the upset.
Pick: Frankie Edgar via Decision.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Costas Philippou: Mousasi
Mark Muñoz vs. Luke Barnatt: Muñoz
Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Neil Magny: Magny
Phillipe Nover vs. Yui Chul Nam: Nover
Mark Eddiva vs. Levan Makashvili: Makashvilli
Tae Hyun Bang vs. Jon Tuck: Tuck
Zhang Lipeng vs. Kajan Johnson: Zhang
Li Jingliang vs. Dhiego Lima: Lima
Ning Guangyou vs. Royston Wee: Wee
Roldan Sangcha-An vs. Jon Delos Reyes: Reyes
Nolan Ticman vs. Yao Zhikui: Ticman
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