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UFC Fight Night: Will Edgar vs. Faber Be a Thrilla in Manila?

Frankie Edgar vs. Urijah Faber headlines UFC Fight Night in the Philippines. Will it be a Thrilla in Manila?

Saturday May 16, 2015 – Fight Card: (Fox Sports 1/BT Sport 1)

Main Event – Frankie Edgar vs. Urijah Faber (Featherweight)
Gegard Mousasi vs. Costas Philippou (Middleweight)
Mark Muñoz vs. Luke Barnatt (MW)
Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Neil Magny (Welterweight)
Phillipe Nover vs. Yui Chul Nam (FW)
Mark Eddiva vs. Levan Makashvili (FW)

Preliminary Card
Tae Hyun Bang vs. Jon Tuck (Lightweight)
Zhang Lipeng vs. Kajan Johnson (LW)
Li Jingliang vs. Dhiego Lima (WW)
Ning Guangyou vs. Royston Wee (Bantamweight)

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Frankie Edgar vs. Urijah Faber

On Saturday, two fan favourites clash, as former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar (18-4-1) faces a former WEC Featherweight Champion in Urijah Faber (32-7). Edgar is the firm betting favourite heading into the clash.

Since his WEC stint, Urijah Faber has come up short in his three UFC title opportunities, falling to Renan Barao twice and once to Dominick Cruz. ‘The California Kid’s last featherweight came at WEC 48, when he lost by decision to Jose Aldo in April, 2010.

Edgar should have the stand up advantage. A 71% successful strike defense, coupled with the fact that he has outstruck seven of his nine opponents, is a ringing endorsement of this.

His footwork and boxing are a mainstay of his style, but as seen above, he is well rounded. His four wins by variations of different chokeholds show that he’s no slouch in the grappling department.

Faber has won nine of his last twelve bouts, but he’s been fighting for almost twelve years and some feel that he has declined from the very top level that he once operated at. This is perhaps the case, as he has lost in all of his last six attempts at Championship gold (in both the WEC and UFC). 19 wins by submission out of 39 fights overall show where his true strengths lie. It’s his best chance of winning, but opponent Frankie Edgar has never been submitted.

If you were to choose two fighters to thrill the Manila faithful, you couldn’t go wrong with these two. As for the result, the odds look pretty accurate.

Prediction: Frankie Edgar @ 1/4 (by decision)

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Gegard Mousasi  vs. Costa Philippou 

An accomplished striker, the Dutchman (36-5-2) has 19 knockouts to his name. The former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion knocked out the legendary Dan Henderson in 70 seconds back in January.

Conqueror of another feared striker in Uriah Hall, Philippou (13-4, 1 NC) has won seven of his fifteen victories by knockout, and should be willing to engage in a stand up bout, which we feel will play into the hands of ‘The Dreamcatcher’, Gegard Mousasi, who was a two weight World Champion in the now defunct DREAM organisation.

Prediction: Gegard Mousasi @ 1/6 (by knockout)

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Mark Munoz vs. Luke Barnatt 

Although he enters as the favourite, Luke Barnatt (8-2) has his work cut out to defeat Mark Munoz (13-6).

Munoz, “The Filipino Wrecking Machine”, was finished by Roan Carneiro via rear-naked choke in under two minutes in his last outing. The crushing loss was Munoz’s third straight defeat and the fourth in his last five bouts. The unfortunate streak came after a promising start to a career that saw the wrestler win twelve of his first fourteen matches.

As for his English opponent, the Ultimate Fighter alumnus’ only two professional losses have occurred in his last two fights. Barnatt (4/6) was expected to face Clint Hester at UFC Fight Night 63, but Hester withdrew due to injury. Munoz’s experience of nine more fights at a higher level than his opponent could well play a part in deciding the direction of the victory.

Prediction: Mark Munoz @ 6/4 (by decision)

 

About Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.