UFC Fight Night 66: Edgar vs. Faber mini-preview

UFC Fight Night 66: Edgar vs. Faber takes place at 10 am ET  (due to it being in the Phillipines) Saturday morning but is worth getting up for and tuning to Fox Sports 1 as Uriah Faber (32-7) collides with Frankie Edgar (18-4-1) in the featherweight divison. 

The rest of the card isn’t worth much due to the presence of mainly regional Philippino fighters who would struggle mightily fighting on a real UFC card (or, realistically, even a Bellator or WSOF card). They’re native to the Phillipines though, which is enough of a qualification to justify their presence on the UFC roster right now as the UFC needs native fighters to help introduce their product in foreign markets.

For the American veiwers though, the main event makes up for all the likely bad earlier fights.

Uriah Faber, the Califonia Kid, is one of the first popular “smaller” fighters, coming into fame as the longtime WEC featherweight champion. Faber, founder of Team Alpha Male, has a strong wrestling and jiu-jitsu background but, for whatever reason, can’t seem to overcome the championship hump. He’s undefeated in non-title fights but has lost six (!) championship bouts in a row. 

Faber is the No. 3 bantomweight fighter, having cleared out most of the divison except the champion. With his teammate T.J. Dillashaw seizing the bantomweight belt, there’s not much for Faber in that division so a move back to featherweight makes sense. 

So Faber will now fight at featherweight, where he’ll start over as an unranked fighter. He gets thrown into the fire though right away though against the No. 2 contender.  His unbeaten record in non-title fights meets its toughest challenge in Edgar, who is a slightly weaker wrestler but better striker than Faber.

Like Faber, Edgar experienced success outside of the UFC, rising to fame as the Bellator Lightweight champion. However, his success translated to the UFC , before Edgar was dethroned by Benson Henderson, who seems to have Edgar’s number as he defeated Edgar in a rematch. Edgar’s subsequent move to featherweight has been flawless except a convincing championship loss to Jose Aldo.

The sad part about this fight is that both fighters can beat basically everybody in their divison except the champion. They’re also aging though, meaning they’re unlikely to get over the hump. So this fight doesn’t have much championship relavence…

So what though?

This superfight is a dream come true as two pioneers get in the Octagon for, what’s likely, a full five-round scrap where the fans are the real winners. They’ll show the Phillipines a good fight, and American viewers, who are familiar with these fighters, will be happy to spread the joy of MMA around the world as they gets some early-breakfast action.

Prediction: As far as the actual winner of this fight goes, I expect Frankie Edgar to win. He’s the better striker and, while Faber has the better cardio and wrestling background, is skilled enough to keep it on the feet. 

Faber will give it his all (as usual) and go the distance in the fight but lose a unanimous decision. Fans and pundits will then speculate what Faber’s true weight class should be and questions about an impending retirement will start to arise for the 36-year old California Kid. 

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Pressley Nietering

Pressley Nietering is an up-and-coming writer. He will attend Clemson University. Follow him on Twitter @Pressme


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