UFC Fight Night 66 takes place in Manila on Saturday morning and you can see our predictions for all the fights below.
Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Edgar
This is a great fight between two of the most instantly recognisable fighters in the lighter weight classes.
Both of these tried and tested veterans are extremely talented and very well-rounded, but as much as I admire Faber I actually favor Edgar quite strongly here as I think he’ll hold a significant edge in the striking realm.
I think Faber will have a hard time with Edgar’s striking style as the former lightweight champ darts in and out of range with quick, smooth accurate combos and excellent footwork while his ground game is good enough to ensure he doesn’t find himself in too much danger there.
Both men have excellent cardio, and with Edgar lacking the power to stop a hardy opponent like Faber I think we’re looking at this one going to the scorecards with ‘The Answer’ having produced both the greater volume of strikes, and great number of strikes landed to earn the victory.
Frankie Edgar to win by decision.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Costas Philippou
Mousasi has experienced mixed fortunes in his UFC run to date, but I still rate him highly and see this as a winnable fight for him against Philippou who’s also had his ups and downs in the promotion.
Mousasi is the better all-round fighter of the two with a good offensive ground game that his opponent lacks, but really both men excel on the feet.
Philippou is actually the naturally harder puncher of the two, but for my money Mousasi is the slicker, swifter, more technical striker and I think he’ll prove that by comfortably outpointing him here.
Gegard Mousasi to win by decision.
Luke Barnatt vs. Mark Munoz
‘The Filipino Wrecking Machine’ will hope for a happy ending to his career in Manila as he’s set for retirement, but I’m not so sure it’s going to work out for him.
That’s not to say I’m wholly convinced by Barnatt – he’s a decent enough middleweight who’s height (6ft 6″) and reach (80 inches) serves him well together with solid takedown defense, but he’s by no means a world-beater.
However, Munoz career in the cage has completely come of the rails with just one win in five fights. The 37 year-old suffers from a badly degraded chin, is slowing down and despite excellent wrestling credentials that side of his game never quite translated for him in the cage.
I expect Barnatt to see Munoz’s labored takedowns coming, especially at the range he’ll be fighting at, and while he’s not a big power puncher if he can land some lengthy one-two combos down the pipe and mix in a few elbows and knees for good measure he may well end up with a TKO win here.
Luke Barnatt to win by TKO in Rd2.
Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Neil Magny
Interesting welterweight match-up here. Magny’s put together a great run in the past year without really standing out in any particular discipline – he’s simply a solid all-rounder and that’s often enough to reach a good level, though I suspect he’ll start having a tougher time if he progresses much further up the 170lb ladder.
As for Lim, he’s more of a striker, using his physical size and relentless aggression to go all-out in pursuit of a finish, and with all three of his UFC victories to date coming by way of KO he’s proven that he’s more than capable of doing just that.
There’s certainly a case to be made for both fighters here, but I lean slightly towards Lim here. He may not get the finish this time around as Magny is durable, but with his offensive approach and the Asian crowd behind him I think he’ll catch the eye of the judges enough to emerge with his hand raised.
Hyun Gyu Lim to win by decision.
Phillipe Nover vs. Yui Chul Nam
Nover hasn’t turned out to be the prospect that Dana White once thought he was during his stint on TUF, but nonetheless he is getting a second-go in the promotion and he’s a decent enough lightweight with his submission game being his best weapon.
Nam lives up to his ‘Korean Bulldozer’ nickname with his ferocious, take-no-prisoners approach to striking. That’s in direct contrast to Nover who likes to fight at a more methodical pace and I think that could lead to his downfall as Nam turns up the heat early and doesn’t allow Nover to settle into the fight.
Perhaps Nover will start to find his way later in the fight, but by then Nam will have done enough to win at least two out of three rounds.
Yui Chul Nam to win by decision.
Mark Eddiva vs. Levan Makashvili
The featherweight main card opener feels like it’s here simply for the benefit of the Filipino crowd as this is Eddiva’s own backyard.
He’ll have his work cut out for him here though as though he has the edge in Octagon experience, the debuting Makashvili generally has the upper-hand whether standing or on the mat and I’m taking him to earn a stoppage win here via strikes.
Levan Makashvili to win by TKO in R2.
Jon Tuck vs. Tae Hyun Bang
Zhang Lipeng vs. Kajan Johnson
Li Jingliang vs. Dhiego Lima
Ning Guangyou vs. Royston Wee
Roldan Sangcha-An vs. Jon Delos Reyes
Nolan Ticman vs. Yao Zhikui