UFC Fight Night ‘Edgar vs. Faber’ Notebook: Chasing History

By: Brian Knapp
May 13, 2015
Frankie Edgar has his sights set on becoming a two-division UFC champion. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com



Frankie Edgar has history in his crosshairs.

The former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight titleholder will meet Urijah Faber in the UFC Fight Night “Edgar vs. Faber” main event on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Philippines. A win there, particularly a convincing one, could leave Edgar as the No. 1 contender in the featherweight division and afford him a second opportunity to challenge for promotional gold at 145 pounds. Only two men, B.J. Penn and Randy Couture, have won titles in two UFC weight classes.

Edgar has understandable interest in the UFC 189 headliner on July 11, as Jose Aldo -- the last man to defeat him -- defends his featherweight crown against Conor McGregor.

“It doesn’t matter [who wins],” Edgar said during a pre-fight Q&A on April 17. “I want the belt. The fact that Jose’s beaten me before and he’s been at the top for so long, I’d like to be the one to take the belt.”

Photo: D. Mandel/Sherdog.com

Faber remains a serious threat.
First, the Toms River, N.J., native must get past Faber. That is no easy task, considering “The California Kid” has never lost a non-title bout in his career. Faber, 35, has rattled off eight wins in 11 appearances since arriving in the UFC in 2011, bowing only to Dominick Cruz and Renan Barao (twice). Edgar plans to approach his clash with the former World Extreme Cagefighting champion like any other fight.

“I don’t really envision a certain way I’m going to beat someone,” he said. “I just kind of go in there, put my head down and go to work. All my fights are the same. I’m going to be active. I’m going to throw punches on my feet. If the takedown is there, I’m going to look for it. I’m going to look for ground-and-pound, [and] I’m going to look for a submission. I’m pretty simple. That’s always my game plan.”

Now 34 and with plenty of mileage -- his rivalry with Gray Maynard exacted an untold toll -- on his 5-foot-6 frame, Edgar seems to know time is of the essence in terms of competing at the upper reaches of MMA. He has won his last three fights in decisive fashion over Penn, Cub Swanson and Charles Oliveira.

“I don’t want to put a number on it, but [I will continue to fight] as long as my body feels good and I’m successful,” Edgar said. “I don’t want to be getting beat up all the time or anything like that. If I’m winning and my body is holding up, I’ll do it as long as I can.”

FAMILIAR HAUNTS


(+ Enlarge) | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com

Nover is 0-3 in the UFC.
Some seven years after UFC President Dana White infamously referred to him as “the next Anderson Silva,” Phillipe Nover is still in search of that elusive first victory inside the Octagon. Three times he has tried, and three times he has failed.

A finalist on Season 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Nover will return to the organization for the first time since February 2010 when he takes on onetime Road Fighting Championship titleholder Yui Chul Nam in a featherweight showcase. The 31-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will enter the cage on the strength of three consecutive victories. Nover last competed at Ring of Combat 50 in January, when he submitted Dan Cion with a second-round rear-naked choke.

Nam has won five straight fights, four of them by decision. “The Korean Bulldozer” made a successful UFC debut in March 2014, when he eked out a split verdict over Kazuki Tokudome.

“Nam is a tough opponent,” Nover told UFC.com in a pre-fight interview. “I’m glad I was matched up with one of the top Asian fighters. He’s going to be a great win for me. I can’t wait to fight him.”

THIS & THAT


(+ Enlarge) | Photo: Ryan O’Leary/Sherdog/MMAViking

Mousasi has 36 wins, 31 finishes.
The Philippines will become the 17th country in which the Ultimate Fighting Championship has staged an event ... Gegard Mousasi has held titles in the Strikeforce, Dream and Cage Warriors Fighting Championship organizations ... Mark Munoz was a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State University, where he won a national championship at 197 pounds in 2001. His 121 career victories tie him for 12th on the school’s all-time list ... In his nine UFC appearances, Neil Magny has landed 497 more total strikes (784) than his opponents (287), per FightMetric ... Georgian prospect Levan Makashvili avenged the only defeat on his resume -- a five-round majority decision loss to Alexandre Bezerra in August -- when he took a unanimous verdict from Bezerra on Dec. 13 ... Guam’s Jon Tuck has six first-round finishes to his credit ... Tristar Gym export Kajan Johnson is 13-3-1 across his past 17 fights, losing only to Rory MacDonald, Tae Hyun Bang and Ryan Machan ... Jingliang Li is a protégé of Tiequan Zhang, the first Chinese fighter ever to compete in the UFC ... Royston Wee graduated from Murdoch University with degrees in marketing and management ... Nine of Jon delos Reyes’ 11 pro bouts -- six of his seven wins and three of his four losses -- have ended inside one round ... Chinese flyweight Zhikui Yao has never fought more than once in a calendar year, with single fights in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

INSIDE THE VENUE


The Mall of Asia Arena opened in June 2012 and was designed by Arquitectonica, the same architectural firm behind the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Fla., the City of Dreams in Macau, China, and the United Nations Peacekeepers Memorial in New York.

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