UFC Fight Night – Edgar vs Faber: Breakdown
The UFC will make their debut in the Metro Manila, Philippines this Saturday. The main event will feature from UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar against former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber with the winner having a potential title shot in the featherweight division.
The co-main event will be a middleweight clash between seventh-ranked Gegard Mousasi and 12th ranked Costas Phillipou. Let’s breakdown the 12 fights starting with the opening match.
Nolan Ticman vs. Yao Zhikui
Ticman and Zhikui will open the card both looking for better success over their UFC debuts, where both fighters lost by decision to their respective opponents. Ticman (4-2, 0-1 in the UFC) opens as the favorite in the betting odds at -225 and Zhikui, the underdog, at +175. Zhikui (1-2, 0-1 in the UFC) will want to use his wrestling to control Ticman and score some takedowns. A weak performance by the loser of this match may result in a release from the UFC roster.
Roldan Sangcha-an vs. Jon Delos Reyes
Delos Reyes (7-4, 0-2 UFC) opens as the favorite at -185, and will be looking to avoid an 0-3 UFC record. Sangcha-an (4-1, 0-1 UFC) will have the home-field advantage fighting in front of his country. This will be a grappler vs. striker match in the flyweight division, with Reyes having the edge in grappling with his Brazilian jiu jitsu background, and Sangcha-an having the edge in striking. Reyes will be in hostile territory coming into an opponent’s home field with his job on the line.
Ning Guangyou vs. Royston Wee
Guangyou and Wee will fight in the bantamweight division, both putting their undefeated (UFC) records on the line. Guangyou (4-2, 1 NC) last fought on August’s UFC card in China where he won his debut by unanimous decision over Jianping Yang. Wee (4-0) comes into this fight with a perfect record, winning both of his UFC fights by decision, with his most recent win coming off the same card Guangyou fought in. Wee is a very athletic fighter who will need to utilize Guangyou’s wrestling.
Li Jingliang vs. Dhiego Lima
Lima (10-3) has been struggling in the UFC going 1-2 so far, with both losses coming by way of TKO. Jingliang (9-3) has won and lost in the UFC split decisions, hard fought close fights. Both welterweights are grappling specialists, this match will be a chess match on the ground. Lima comes into the fight as the favorite and looks to avoid back-to-back losses in the UFC, Jingliang will also look to overcome his last loss to Nordine Taleb, and go back into his winning ways.
Zhang Lipeng vs. Kajan Johnson
Lipeng won his first two UFC fights until losing to Chris Wade via decision back in January’s McGregor vs. Siver card. Lipeng (9-8-1) will use his wrestling background to control Johnson. Johnson’s (19-1-1) UFC debut will be one he wishes to forget, as he became a knockout highlight reel victim to Tae Hyun Bang at UFC 174. Johnson has 11 submission victories in his career, and the BJJ brown belt will look to overcome Lipeng’s takedowns and control the ground game.
Tae Hyun Bang vs. Jon Tuck
The final fight of the preliminary card will be a lightweight math up between Tae Hyun Bang and Jon Tuck. Hyun Bang (17-8) notched his ninth-career TKO victory in UFC 174 when he defeated Kajan Johnson, evening his UFC record to 1-1. Jon Tuck (8-2) is 2-2 in the UFC now after losing his last fight to Kevin Lee at UFC 178. Tuck is well rounded, and he will want to avoid Hyun Bang’s heavy hands.
Mark Eddiva vs. Levan Makashvii
The main card opens up in the featherweight class with hometown hero Mark Eddiva (6-1, 1-1 UFC) against Levan Makashvii (6-1), who will be making his UFC debut. Eddiva was a perfect 6-0 until suffereing a TKO loss to Edimilson Souza at UFC Fight Night – Miocic vs. Maldonado. Eddiva has not fought in nearly a year, so the ring rust might play against him. Makashvii was supposed to make his UFC debut back in February against Nick Lentz, but the fight was pulled when Lentz had to withdraw due to illness.
Phillipe Nover vs. Yui Chul Nam
The action in featherweight continues with Phillipe Nover making his return to the UFC in nearly five years since his release. Nover was a finalist on The Ultimate Fighter Season 8, losing to Effrain Escudero. Nover would go 0-3 in the UFC and would be cut. Since then, Nover has gone 6-3, and now 10-5-1 overall, and he also is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Yui Chul Nam (18-4-1) made a successful debut in the UFC last year when he defeated Kazuki Tokudome. Nam is a solid wrestling with great punching power, holding eight TKO victories in his career. This will be a BJJ vs. Wrestling fight, and Nover will want to protect his chin from Nam’s bombs.
Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Neil Magny
We step into the welterweight division with Neil Magny facing Hyun Gyu Lim. Magny (14-3, 7-2 UFC) has won six straight fights now and cracked the top 15, at #15 in the welterweight class. Magny last fought in February’s UFC Fight Night – Henderson vs. Thatch. Magny’s opponent Lim is no pushover, and he is a good striker. Lim (13-4-1, 3-1 UFC) won his last fight with vicious elbows, earning a TKO win over Takenori Sato back in September’s UFC Fight Night card. Another win for Magny would push him even further in the rankings, and give him seven straight wins, while a win for Lim would give him a win over a ranked opponent, and a potential “welcoming” into the rankings for himself. This fight will could earn a performance award and should be full of fireworks.
Mark Munoz vs. Luke Barnatt
Mark Munoz (13-6, 8-6 UFC) was once a top contender for the UFC. The 37 year old has now lost four of his last five fights, with all four fights being finished. Munoz has already stated this would be his final fight in his mma career, he chose this fight specifically to get the opportunity to fight for his country. Munoz is Filipino-American, and wants to set off in the sunset fighting for his parents’ country. Barnatt (8-2, 3-2 UFC) has lost his last two fights with razor close split decision losses, the most recent coming to Roger Narvaez back in November. Barnatt is a huge middlweight, and he will have a great reach advantage over Munoz. This fight will be more critical for Barnatt, as a third straight loss might send him packing from the UFC, whereas Munoz will be fighting with no pressure, knowing this will be his last fight. That makes this fight more dangerous for Barnatt.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Costas Phillipou
The middlweight co-main event of the evening will feature seventh-ranked Mousasi against 12th-ranked Phillipou. Mousasi has gone 2-2 in his last four fights, winning his last fight when he TKO’d Dan Henderson at UFC on Fox 14. Phillipou stopped a two-fight losing streak, and rebounded with a vicious knockout victory of his own when he defeated Lorenz Larkin at UFC Fight Night – Brown vs. Silva last May. This fight is critical for both fighters, as the win would start a winning streak for both fighters and bump them up the ladder, closing in to a title chase. Both fighters are well rounded and this could be a fight of the night candidate.
Frankie Edgar vs Urijah Faber
The main event of the evening features to former champions looking to get another shot at a title. Edgar (18-4-1) is on a three fight winning streak, defeating Charles Oliveira, BJ Penn, and most recent Cub Swanson back in November. That is a very impressive winning streak, and what makes it more impressive is Edgar finished off both Penn and Swanson. Faber has won back-to-back submitting both of his opponents after failing to defeat Renan Barao for the bantamweight title. The winner will most likely go on to face the winner of Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor, who fight in July.