Super Fight in the Philippines (UFC Fight Night 66 Review)

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - MAY 16: Frankie Edgar of the United States throws a kick at Uriah Faber of the United States in their featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at the Mall of Asia Arena on May 16, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. (Photo by Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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It was another first for the UFC as they travelled to the Philippines for the first time in the promotions history.

That landmark event featured plenty of great fights including a true super fight in the main event.

Despite the great main event the focus was often on a main card fighter throughout the week as a fan favourite was saying goodbye in the most fitting of places.

Mark Muñoz was once marked as the next great middleweight in the UFC after he began a big run in 2010.

It was an active year for the young fighter as he had four fights in 2010 and won three including his final fight of the year against Aaron Simpson.

That final fight led to a four fight winning streak stretching into 2011 which immediately made him a favourite to move up and challenge Anderson Silva.

His great wrestling background made him a tough opponent to stay standing against but he brought another aspect to the fight.

As he likes to call them it was the Donkey Kong punches that separated him from everyone else with great ground and pound.

Bringing devastating hammer fists, he was a fighter that seemed to be set for a great career at the top of the middleweight division.

Then he met Chris Weidman in 2012 and that great career came to a crashing halt after a devastating TKO.

With the win Weidman went on to become the only man to beat Silva in the UFC and earned the middleweight belt while Munoz was set on a slow wind down of his career.

Muñoz got back on the winning path in his next fight against Tim Boetsch but then lost his next three fights, all ending early.

After being one of the most active fighters in the UFC for years Muñoz only fought twice in 2013 and once in 2014.

It was clear that his time was coming to an end and that he was no longer a contender in the division but Muñoz extended his career for a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The man known as the Filipino Wrecking Machine waited until the UFC went to his ancestral homeland, where he was set to say goodbye to the UFC.

Fighting in the Philippines has always been a dream of Muñoz and at UFC Fight Night 66 he finally got the chance.

With that dream realized and not much time left on his fight clock, Munoz decided that this was going to be his swan song.

Muñoz decided to leave fighting and was going to try to leave on a high note as he took on Luke Barnatt in his final fight.

Barnatt came into the fight on a two fight losing strike and was looking to spoil the night for Muñoz with his stand-up game that benefitted from a long reach.

The plan for Muñoz was clear, get the fight to the ground and use his hammer fists to end the fight and walk out of the UFC as a winner.

In his last fight ever, Muñoz was ready to go out in the Philippines and make an impact so that everyone remembered him as a great fighter.

The fight was an inspired one by Muñoz who came out clearly ready to end his last fight in the octagon on a high note.

Barnatt was simply outmatched in this one as Muñoz landed solid punches on the feet and earned takedowns willingly.

It was the same fight throughout all three rounds as Muñoz stayed standing to start and landed big over hand rights then he dipped down for the single leg.

With the single leg Muñoz put the fight on the ground and used his superior ground and pound to punish Barnatt.

When the fight was standing Muñoz repeated the strategy as he completed a dominant gameplan to earn a win.

It was a tough fight for Barnatt to win with the emotion attached to it but he took the fight and saw a bad trend as he will need to win his next fight if he wants to stay in the UFC.

Muñoz, meanwhile, took the dominant win and left his gloves in the octagon as he went out the best way he could as he walks into retirement with a win in his last fight in the

Muñoz wasn’t the only story on the night though as the Philippines got to see a true super fight between two of the best lighter weight fighters in the UFC.

Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar had plenty of success in multiple weight classes throughout their careers and now were looking for a challenge against each other.

With so much success both fighters had risen to the top of their respective divisions but neither have been able to get a title in their divisions.

Edgar had already been the lightweight champion but in the featherweight division he has remained a great fighter but cannot beat Jose Aldo for the belt.

Urijah Faber has yet to win a title in the UFC but remains a fighter that stays in the top of the rankings in the Bantamweight division as he continues his pursuit of a UFC title.

Faber decided to go up in weight for this fight as he took on another weight division in the UFC, although he did fight at Featherweight in the WEC, in hopes of beating the #2 fighter and proving he still belongs among the elite.

The fight was going to come down to who made a mistake first as both fighters have made their way with a well-balanced style.

Both came into MMA with a wrestling background and used that as a base but added a great striking attack as well.

With speed and the ability to fight on the ground it was going to be a close match where one fighter was going to make a mistake and the other was going to capitalize.

Neither fighter was going to make a mistake though as both fighters went out and looked for the smallest of openings to score.

There weren’t many holes to take advantage of but Edgar did find the small holes that Faber had as he was able to throw more shots than Faber.

He constantly attacked and earned takedowns, although Faber got up immediately, and was just more active.

Faber seemed to be looking to land a shot when there was an opening instead of creating an opening but couldn’t find openings.

With Edgar staying more active and Faber playing more defence than offence the decision was clear as Edgar picked up the win.

Faber did not get dominated in the fight but still took the loss as he will likely return to the Bantamweight division where he will try to earn another title shot.

Edgar took the win and continues to be one of the best featherweights in the UFC as he awaits the winner of the Aldo-McGregor fight and could be the next challenger for the belt.

The first trip to the Philippines was an interesting one as a great fighter said goodbye and a super fight showed what it’s like when two of the best face-off.



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