FRANKIE Edgar outpointed Urijah Faber in an action-packed featherweight fight before a near-sellout Mall of Asia Arena crowd that marked the success of the first staging of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the Philippines on Saturday night.
In a battle of former champions, it was Edgar who prevailed with his clearer strikes on his feet on the way to scoring a unanimous decision win in the main event that lived up to its billing.
“I really wanted to make a statement,” Edgar said. “Urijah was as tough as I expected.”
“I wanted to get a finish, but it was tougher than it seemed,” added the man known as “The Answer,” who stretched his winning streak to four matches.
Despite the absence of a knockout, the main event proved thrilling enough to keep the huge crowd alive despite the historic card dragging on to as late as 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Edgar thus improved to a 18-4-1 win-loss-draw record as the former UFC lightweight champion moved a step closer to a shot at a second division belt, possibly facing longtime featherweight titlist Jose Aldo or top contender Conor Mcgregor.
Faber, on the other hand, saw his two-fight winning streak snapped as he suffered only his second defeat in eight matches.
Gegard Mousasi scored a similar unanimous decision win against Cosotas Philippou in the main undercard bout in the middleweight class that, however, failed to meet expectations.
Neil Magny impressed in a come-from-behind technical knockout win over Korean Hyun Gyu Lim, while Jon Tuck scored the quickest victory of the night as he forced Tae Hyun Bang to submit with a rear-naked choke late in the first round of their lightweight bout.
In the preliminary card, Kajan Johnson turned back Zhang Lipeng via unanimous decision in the lightweight division and Li Jingliang knocked out Dhiego Lima in the very first round of their welterweight match.
Earlier, Ning Guangyou pummeled Royston Wee on the way to a technical knockout win in a bantamweight bout, and Yao Zhikui edged Nolan Ticman via split decision in a flyweight fight that raised the curtains of the historic card.