It’s a big weekend for fight fans, and an early Saturday for fans of the UFC. Saturday morning from Manila in the Philippines, what you can consider an actual superfight will go down at UFC Fight Night 66 when former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will take on Team Alpha Male’s Urijah Faber. Faber, never one to turn down a big fight, moves up in weight for this bout, and it may very well be his toughest fight in years (with the lone exception being, perhaps, Renan Barao).

It’s rare when Faber enters a fight as anything other than a favorite, but this is a tough match-up for “The California Kid” Given that Edgar is a former champion, and (in a rare occurrence for “The Answer”) holds the longer reach of the two men, with a dominant wrestling style and coming off a big win over Cub Swanson. Faber, meanwhile, was last seen scoring a controversial win over Francisco Rivera in which an unintentional eye poke set up the bull dog choke finish.

Faber is basically infamous for not losing outside of title fights. Every single loss on his professional record has coming in a title bout. Could this be the first non-title loss for Faber?

Here are three keys to victory for the California Kid to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Takedown Defense

We all saw what Edgar did to Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night 57, and as far as approaching a fight with goes, that can be considered the template for what not to do. For fans of Swanson, one of the top fighters at 145lbs, it was difficult to watch. It’s exactly the sort of thing Faber needs to watch however — and ensure doesn’t happen again. History can have an ugly way of repeating itself, and Faber will need to be on top of things, watching out for the takedown, and defending it when the attempt inevitably happens. Of course, training with guys like Chad Mendes, Faber should be well prepared for this, but Edgar’s wrestling is in another league.

Execute Your Game Plan/Shut Down His

Edgar has dominated opponents in recent bouts by executing his game plan. Faber’s best bet in this fight is to immediately counter Edgar’s game plan, and execute his own. It may be easier said than done, and fairly obvious, but it’s a must. This fight will be a fight for dominance and control. Control time  is going to play a factor in this, as the fight has a good shot at going the distance. That said, if an opportunity arises (say, for a submission), Faber needs to be able to capitalize.

Do Not Step Off The Gas

Edgar keeps an impressive pace in his bouts, and Faber does as well. Faber needs to go full tilt, and be prepared to go full tilt for the duration.

This has the chance to be a five round classic. It’s hard not to be excited for the fight, and equally hard to pick a winner. This fight does represent a difficult puzzle for Faber, however, and he’s going to need to bring his A-game.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.