The UFC finally makes the trip far East, as Frankie Edgar and Urijah Faber headline a highly anticipated card. Edgar may very well have a title shot on the line, while Faber continues to only entertain high-profile fights as he proclaimed not long ago. Gegard Mousasi hopes to ride his latest finish over Dan Henderson to a win over the game ready Costas Philippou. The Philippines will also have their own to root for, as hometown fighter Mark Eddiva opens up the main card. Fights will kick things off on UFC Fight Pass at 7 am EST, then heads over to FOX Sports 1 at 8 am EST, and finishes up there with the main card at 10 am EST. Title implications and fantasy predictions in place, the MMA Spotlight covers it all!
#2 Frankie Edgar (17-4-1) vs. Urijah Faber (32-7) Featherweight Bout – Without emotion nudging the predicting judgement going into this fight, these two could be as close as it gets skill wise and make a tremendous match up for a ruckus crowd in Manila. Even though two have fought in different weight classes as they bounced around divisions in their careers, both are practically the same in stature, and neither have an advantage physically. Faber is more of a risk taker, attempting maneuvers that are somewhat rarely seen inside a UFC octagon. Edgar is a model of consistency, but that consistency has led to finishes as of late, taking out B.J. Penn and Cub Swanson within the allotted time. Frankie’s movement is really hard to dictate, while mixing things up quite well with his level changing to gain take downs. Faber struggled to solve the Dominic Cruz riddle, while his footwork is quite different from Edgar’s, the angles that are set up with it are very similar. To his credit though, Faber only has one loss outside of a title fight and that was back in 2005, so it’s a rarity for “The California Kid” to fall during non title fights. This fight is a fantasy nightmare with neither one being easy to finish, and is almost a toss-up with whom may be the victor. The higher upside of a finish may be on Edgar’s side with Faber being finished twice in his career compared to Edgar’s none. A UFC fight full of blazing fists may be entertaining to watch, but will not win fantasy goers the big bucks. Frankie Edgar via Unanimous Decision.
#7 Gegard Mousasi (36-5-2) vs. #12 Costas Philippou (13-4) Middleweight Bout – Those looking for a horse to ride through UFC fantasy land Saturday morning, look no further then Gegard Mousasi. Rebounding nicely against Dan Henderson, Mousasi needs to show more consistency to get in the good graces of UFC match makers; even though his last loss did come at the hands of number one contender, Ronaldo Souza. Philippou has the power and boxing to threaten anyone if they make a mistake, but Mousasi is more technically sound in all aspects of MMA. If the stars align just right for Gegard, he should make quick work of Philippou and award the faith of all that sided with him. Gegard Mousasi via Technical Knockout.
Mark Munoz (13-6) vs. Luke Barnatt (8-2) Middleweight Bout – Flip a coin, and take a guess, this fight just is not going to be pretty. Munoz hopes to take his retirement into the mean streets of Manila with a victory, while Barnatt is just hoping to avoid the dreaded three fight losing streak. Munoz was at a crossroads in his last fight, losing obviously made things worse, but now he gets a chance to go out guns blazing. Barnatt is more technical than power, needing the punches in bunches to really hurt his opponents. Munoz has the home run one hitter quitter power that will turn heads in an instant, especially against someone with lackluster striking defense as Barnatt’s. In hopes that a veteran of the sport puts on the show in his last fight, Munoz may surprise here. Mark Munoz via Technical Knockout.
Hyun Gyu Lim (13-4-1) vs. #15 Neil Magny (14-3) Welterweight Bout – This is probably one of the more intriguing match ups of the night, with two young prospects rising up the welterweight ranks. Lim has the knack to put people to sleep, while Magny’s game consists of using his range with his long limbs, picking and choosing when he wants to clinch up. Viewer appeal sides with Lim, as the guy is an interesting fellow to follow outside the UFC octagon, and goes for broke inside the UFC cage. Magny quietly put together a six fight winning streak, finishing three of those bouts within the rounds. Magny will pressure within reason, Lim will play the role of the opportunistic fighter, watch for the counters. Upside for fantasy here is Lim, Magny has yet to be knocked out though. Hyun Gyu Lim via Unanimous Decision.
Phillipe Nover (10-5-1) vs. Yui Chul Nam (18-4-1) Featherweight Bout – Two relative unknowns to the viewer’s eye, it seems as if Nover has not fought in the UFC in ages, while Nam has only fought once for the promotion earning a Split Decision victory. Both bring in respective win streaks to the octagon, with Nam being the slight favorite. Look for Nover to get this to the ground and work some submission and work control on the ground, Nam needs to keep this fight standing and within his dog house to come out with a win. Based off the fact that Nover has three fights under his belt in the UFC but has yet to taste victory, tells the odds makers that it may be highly unlikely he is successful here as well. Yui Chul Nam via Unanimous Decision.
Mark Eddiva (6-1) vs. Levan Makashvili (9-1) Featherweight Bout – No one better to ignite the main card then Philippines own, Mark Eddiva. Known for being an aggressive striker, Eddiva will push Makashvili from the get go, and may be able get the debuting fighter on his toes early. Makashvili is another unknown fighter, making the trip to his opponent’s home soil, which may not bode very well for him. The UFC is putting quite a bit of pressure on Makashvili in his first fight for the promotion, it will be hard for him to ignore all the obstacles and really hone in on the fight itself. Mark Eddiva via Technical Knockout.
UFC 187 brings in Memorial Day weekend the following week, as Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier throw down for a shot at the recently vacated UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Not to be shunned, Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort finally tussle in a fight that has needed to happen for quite a while. It’s been nearly a year since we have seen the UFC middleweight champ, Chris Weidman; and over two years since Belfort has fought. For coverage of this weekend’s morning card, follow the MMA Spotlight for post fight analysis.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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