UFC Fight Night 66: Edgar vs. Faber Preview, Picks and Kountermove Preview


For the first time ever, this weekend, the UFC’s Octagon will travel the Philippines as the Mall of Asia in Manila plays host to UFC Fight Night 66. For a first entrance into a market the card is a relatively high class affair at the top and should make an enjoyable evening for the Filipino attendees.

Headlining the card is a pair of former MMA champions as Urijah Faber steps up in weight to face Frankie Edgar at the 145 lbs featherweight limit. Training out of his own “Team Alpha Male” gym in Sacramento, California Faber is a former WEC champion who has been right at the top of the lower weight rankings for the bones of ten years. Since coming over to the UFC, though, following the WEC merger, Faber hasn’t been able to take a UFC title and despite winning eight of his eleven bouts, against fighters like Cisco Rivera and Michael McDonald, none of those were for the title and all three losses came in championship fights. Frankie Edgar, on the other hand, has had no such trouble attaining UFC gold. The New Jersey native earned his way to the top by beating the likes of Jim Miller and Sean Sherk before taking the UFC lightweight strap from BJ Penn and successfully defending it three times. That trifecta of wins was quickly followed by a trio of title losses, the last of which saw Edgar drop down and lose to featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Despite their setbacks, both men have rebounded well and will enter the fight on respective three (Edgar) and two (Faber) fight win streaks.

When you have two high level MMA veterans like the pair headlining on Saturday night it’s pretty difficult to pick out many flaws in their respective games. Urijah Faber started out his career as mainly a wrestler but has added a very effective striking game to his arsenal which works well in the power stakes or sets up level changes to start off his grappling. On the floor he is all action and attacks hard with ground and pound and submissions – especially the guillotine. Edgar, on the other hand, is more of a glutton for position when it goes south and will absolutely grind an opponent into oblivion if one of his slick takedowns is successful. On the feet, Edgar isn’t really a power puncher but he throws with a huge output and his boxing for MMA technique is near flawless.

If you’re tuning in to this fight you’re probably going to get value for your time and money. I expect an absolutely bonkers first round with fast exchanges, takedown attempts, mad scrambles and plenty of damage. Usually, when a lighter guy meets a heavier guy he has an advantage in speed. I’m not too sure that’s the case here. I see this fight being very competitive but I do think Edgar will have, not only, a speed advantage but a strength advantage as well. If he can take a lead in those two aspects, I don’t see many ways Faber can win. As the fight progresses I expect a lot of it to take place on the feet where Edgar’s speed and superior technical ability will shine through to give him the decision victory and Faber his first ever non-championship loss.

NatashaKM620 Kountermove

Then, in the co-main event, two top 15 ranked middleweights clash as #7 Gegard Mousasi and #12 Costa Philippou fight it out to secure a place amongst the top-10 in the next update. As former Cage Warriors, DREAM and Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi has amassed quite the career in his twelve years as a professional. The  Dutchman has wins over legends Babalu Sobral, Mark Hunt and Melvin Manheof amongst a raft of others as a pro but has somewhat struggled since moving to middleweight in his UFC stint. In that time Mousasi does have wins over Mark Munoz and Dan Henderson but his losses to Jacare Souza and Lyoto Machida mean he isn’t likely to be in title contention any time soon. The same could probably be said for Philippou who has a win against Lorenz Larkin in his last fight but lost to Luke Rockhold and Francis Carmont respectively immediately before that. He isn’t nearly as experienced as his opponent on Saturday but Philippou is also a pretty grizzled 18-fight veteran at this stage who has wins over names like Tim Boetsch and Uriah Hall.

As a fight this should be another enjoyable one between two extremely similar fighters. Mousasi is predominantly a kickboxer who attacks with fast shots from all angles on the feet. His wrestling game isn’t the best in the division by any means but he does usually have a good takedown defence while 12 career submission wins means it won’t be easy even if you can get him there. If one man is more likely to dive on a takedown it’s probably Philippou who has been known to take it south on occasion. He also would prefer it on the feet, though, where he can unleash some of his stiffening boxing and kicking attacks.

This fight should be a good one but I can’t see beyond a Mousasi win. I think the Dutchman is faster, has more power and can stop any wrestling attempts Philippou throws at him. Expect it to be close early but for Mousasi to quickly establish a stronghold and dominate from that point forward.

After that there are couple of interesting fights including the return of Phillipe Nover, the next stop on the Neil Magny hype-train and, most notably of all, the last fight ever for Mark Munoz inside the cage as he retires after Saturday night. Despite never reaching the very top of the sport, the Filipino-American has had an impressive stint in the UFC and will look to go out with a bang against lanky Englishman Luke Barnatt in front of what’s sure to be a raucous crowd.

FIGHT PICKS (Kountermove prices in brackets)

Frankie Edgar (5800) vs. Urijah Faber (4000) – Edgar is quicker, stronger and wins every round
Gegard Mousasi (5300) vs. Costas Philippou (4300) – The classier Mousasi wins a decision
Luke Barnatt (5000) vs. Mark Munoz (4600) – Munoz wrestling wins the day
Hyun Gyu Lim (5000) vs. Neil Magny (4600) – Magny avoids the power and grinds out the win
Yui Chul Nam (4900) vs. Phillipe Nover (4700) – Nover returns with a win
Mark Eddiva (4800) vs. Levan Makashvili (5300) – Makashvili gets the KO

Tae Hyun Bang (4800) vs. Jon Tuck (4800) – Tuck wins a decision
Kajan Johnson (4900) vs. Lipeng Zhang (4700) – Johnson takes it south and gets the RNC
Li Jingliang (4900) vs. Dhiego Lima (4700) – The power of Lima gets him a finish
Ning Guangyou (4700) vs. Royston Wee (4900) – Wee remains unbeaten
Jon Delos Reyes (4900) vs. Roldan Sangcha-an (4700) – Submission win for JDR
Nolan Ticman (5500) vs. Zhuikui Yao (4100) – Ticman via submission


This week’s Kountermove fantasy MMA is a very interesting one. In the main event you have a really high priced favourite in Edgar at 5800 while Faber is temptingly low at 4000. For me, I think it’s probably best to avoid as Edgar should win although he’s at a high price. If I had to choose, I’d probably take a flier on Faber because he is so low. The obvious team anchor this week is Mousasi at 5300 who should have more than enough get past Costa Phillippou. After that I think Neil Magny at 4600 is a very good underdog pick while I’d probably avoid Nolan Ticman at 5500. My pick of the week, though, has to be Mark Munoz at 4600.

So, to get started playing Kountermove fantasy MMA, simply follow these steps.

1. Click the link – http://www.kountermove.com/r/MMA/654925/

2. Sign up

3. Select a game

4. Select your 5 fighter team while staying under the 25,000 salary cap and submit.

5. Watch the money roll in!


This week I’m going for a double of Mousasi by decision and Munoz by decision at just over 9/1


Early Prelims – Noon on UFC Fight Pass

Prelims – 1pm (Tape delay on BT Sport 1)

Main Card – 3pm (Tape delay on BT Sport 1)


Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma

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