AS they faced off on stage after the weigh-in, Frankie Edgar and Urijah Faber only took a few seconds to stare at each other before breaking into smiles and shaking, looking nowhere like two MMA fighters squaring off in the main event of UFC: Fight Night Manila on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The pre-fight drama and hype hasn’t been where it’s expected, but both fighters promise an explosive featherweight fight, and will let their actions do the talking as they collide and cap off the maiden staging of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the Philippines.
“There’s no need for trash-talking,” Edgar said. “What Urijah’s done speaks for itself. He’s a stud in this sport.”
“We’re going to put on a show minus the trash talk,” he added. “Trash talk don’t matter; the fight matters and it’s going to be a great fight.”
After all, they’re two of the most exciting fighters in the world’s fastest-growing sport.
“There’s no doubt, with Frankie and myself in the fight, there’s not going to be a dull moment,” Faber said. “We both bring the heat and we’re both going to look for the kill, so I’m expecting a great fight and I’m looking to get that W."
The 33-year-old Edgar, sporting a 17-4-1 win-loss-draw card, puts his three-fight winning streak on the line against the 36-year-old Faber, who has won six of his last seven fights.
Both featherweight stars tipped the scales at 146 pounds for their five-round fight, where the survivor could earn the right to challenge champion Jose Aldo.
Making the weight seemed easier for Faber, who has fought at the 135-pound bantamweight division in his last 12 bouts before making his return to the upper class.
“I’ve been able to eat through this camp,” smiled Faber, who has made his shifts from bantamweight to featherweight and vice versa with ease his entire career.
“I’ve been really lucky to be able to have the ability and have the opportunity and have the willingness to compete at multiple weight classes,” said Faber, a pro since 2003. “My body’s been happy about (my current weight) and you could tell in my training.”