The Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to make its debut in the Philippines for Fight Night 66, and Leigh Copson has picked out his three best bets for Saturday’s card headlined by Frankie Edgar vs. Urijah Faber…
For both main-eventers this fight could well represent ‘Last Chance Saloon’. Former lightweight champion Edgar has boosted his quest to become a two-weight world champion by winning his last three fights, while Faber is now looking to challenge for the featherweight title after falling short in his attempts to win the bantamweight belt.
So who will win this crucial featherweight showdown in Manilla? Can Constantinos Phillipou really upset Gegard Mousasi? And will Mark Munoz halt a three-fight losing run and end his career on a high? Leigh answers those questions with his three best bets for UFC Fight Night…
Urijah Faber. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)Back Frankie Edgar to beat Urijah Faber via Decision or Technical Decision
As a long-time fan of Urijah Faber I would love nothing more than to see this legendary fighter get his hands on UFC gold before he retires – but I cannot see it happening.
Faber failed to win the bantamweight title on three occasions and I do not see his fortunes changing at featherweight. He desperately needs to win his first fight in his new division, but Frankie Edgar is a serious step up in class from the likes of Alex Caceres and Francisco Rivera.
Edgar impressed greatly when he stopped Cub Swanson last time out, extending his winning run to three fights, and I believe the ex-155lb champion will make it four-in-a-row at Faber’s expense. ‘The California Kid’ only loses to elite fighters and Edgar certainly falls in that category. ‘The Answer’ will showcase his great speed to stay out of trouble and he should outwork Faber in the stand-up on his way to a decision win.
Back Gegard Mousasi to finish Constantinos Phillipou
Gegard Mousasi has failed to build any momentum since arriving in the UFC, but this weekend he could finally record back-to-back victories in the Octagon for the first time. Having rebounded from his defeat to Ronaldo Souza with a TKO win over Dan Henderson last time out, the former DREAM light-heavyweight, DREAM middleweight and Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion should be too much for Constantinos Phillipou. Phillipou is all about boxing and, simply put, Mousasi is better than him in the stand-up. He is also better than the Cypriot on the ground so this should be a straightforward win for Mousasi, who will be eager to move on to bigger and better things.
Back Mark Munoz to beat Luke Barnatt
Mark Munoz will bring the curtain down on his career when he steps inside the Octagon in the Philippines on Saturday, and for the 37-year-old it will be a dream come true. Munoz, of Filipino heritage, will want to bow out with a victory and despite the bookies making him an underdog, I feel the UFC have given him a favourable fight. Luke Barnatt has struggled against wrestlers and wrestling is Munoz’s bread and butter. Munoz will not want to stand and trade, he will take down Barnatt and grind out the win.