The Ultimate Fighting Championship will head to Manila, Philippines for the first time in its history for the UFC Fight Night Manila card (aka FN 66). The event is set for May 16, and it will be headlined with a clash of featherweight perennial contenders Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar.
Here are my UFC Fight Night Manila Predictions:
Frankie Edgar vs. Urijah Faber
These two fighters have a lot in common and that should lead to a very entertaining contest. Both are well-rounded MMA fighters, with huge hearts and the ability to take lots of punishment. Edgar (18-4-1, 5 KOs) tends to use a wrestle-boxer style to pave his way to victory, while Faber (32-7-0, 19 submissions) utilizes more of a wrestle-kickboxing attack.
Both are more than capable of finishing a fight via submission, so there are many ways this fight can come to an end.
This is certainly a tough fight to call, but I’m leaning towards Edgar and here’s why:
Faber’s level of competition during his last two outings hasn’t been particularly impressive, and he did struggle at times during those bouts. Alex Caceres in particular did better than most expected him to do against Faber before succumbing to a rear-naked choke. Edgar on the other hand is coming off a dominant fifth-round stoppage victory against Cub Swanson, and he’ll be highly motivated to get a shot at the winner of the Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo title tilt.
Edgar should be able to get the better of the striking exchanges at UFC Fight Night Manila, and he should be able to work in a few takedowns as well.
Prediction: Frankie Edgar wins via TKO.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Costas Philippou
Mousasi (36-5-2, 19 KOs) knocked out Dan Henderson during his last outing, and he’ll be looking to make Philippou (13-4-0, 7 KOs) his next victim. He certainly has the tools to get the job done. Even though both men are competent strikers, Mousasi is the technically superior striker, and he’ll also enjoy a three-inch reach and height advantage.
Gegard’s takedown defense is also good enough to keep the fight standing in the rare event Phillippou tries to take him down.
Costas is good enough to keep this fight competitive if he brings his A-game, and he certainly has a puncher’s chance (just as Lorenz Larkin), but this is a matchup that clearly favors Mousasi on paper.
Prediction: Gegard Mousasi wins via decision.
Remaining UFC Fight Night Manila Predictions:
Luke Barnatt defeats Mark Muñoz
Neil Magny defeats Hyun Gyu Lim
Yui Chul Nam defeats Phillipe Nover
Mark Eddiva defeats Levan Makashvili
Jon Tuck defeats Tae Hyun Bang
Zhang Lipeng defeats Kajan Johnson
Li Jingliang defeats Dhiego Lima
Ning Guangyou defeats Royston Wee
Roldan Sangcha-An defeats Jon Delos Reyes
Yao Zhikui defeats Nolan Ticman
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.
Don’t forget to check out my UFC Fight Night Manila Predictions FightPicks shortly before the prelims start.