The Five Count: Top Storylines from UFC Fight Night 66 Fallout

mark-munoz-mma-20140105The Five Count: UFC Fight Night 66 Jay Primetown takes a look at the five biggest storylines to develop from UFC Fight Night 66 from the Philippines. #1 Frankie Always Has The Answer – Saturday’s excellent main event pitted two of the all-time great sub-155 pound fighters in the history of mixed martial arts. Frankie Edgar against Urijah Faber was a fight I had been waiting a long time for. While the fight played out as expected, it’s important to note just how impressive Frankie Edgar is. The Answer’s ability to constantly push and pressure opponents makes him a nightmare matchup. Combining his incredible footwork with top level wrestling, make him a fighter that is extremely difficult to beat. While Edgar doesn’t have big punching power, he’s a fantastic fighter and one of the best in any weight class of this sport. Edgar continues to prove he can fight with the best in all of mixed martial arts. Even in his losses to Jose Aldo and Ben Henderson, the rounds were very competitive with few clear cut rounds. If Edgar is tasked with fighting Aldo again, I expect another competitive contest. #2 A Memorable Goodbye – Long time UFC middleweight Mark Munoz fought in the octagon for the final time at Fight Night 66. Munoz had been on a difficult run leading into his fight with Luke Barnatt. However, Munoz was able to turn back the clock in his final MMA fight. Munoz returned to his roots landing power shots on the feet setting up his wrestling. Munoz dominated the fight for 15 minutes to an ecstatic crowd. After being announced the winner by decision, Munoz had one of the greatest post-fight speeches ever done in MMA. Bringing a tear to the eye of many, Munoz took off his gloves and laid them in the center of the cage. It really was a great moment and a special way to signify the end of his MMA career. I hope other MMA fighters learn from Munoz and use this tradition as a way to leave the sport. #3 The Best of the Rest –Since Strikeforce disbanded and its fighters have come over to the UFC, the middleweight division has developed into the most fascinating division in the sport. With the likes of Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida, Luke Rockhold, Anderson Silva and champion Chris Weidman at the top of the division, middleweight is a murderer’s row of quality. There’s no division in the sport with as accomplished of a group of fighters as middleweight includes. Outside that top grouping of fighters, there appears to be a bit of gap to the rest of the division. Iranian born Gegard Mousasi has shown to be the best of the rest in that division. Since coming over to the UFC from Strikeforce, Mousasi holds wins over Dan Henderson, the aforementioned Munoz, and now Costas Phillipou. In his victory on Saturday, Mousasi showed off his ground game in addition to technical striking. In a division that is dominated by older fighters, Mousasi is in a good position. As the older fighters begin to show their age and retire from the sport, look for Mousasi to move inside the top 5 of the division in the next couple years. #4 Slowly Gaining Respect – Welterweight Neil Magny continues to slowly gain respect from fans as he racks up wins in the division. The 15th ranked Magny earned his best win to date winning by TKO over rising Korean welterweight Hyun Gyu Lim. Magny withstood the early barrage from Lim to take over towards the end of the 1st round and then earning the stoppage win in the second round. It was Magny’s 7th consecutive win in the UFC. It’s a remarkable achievement in the modern era and one of the top 5 longest winning streaks currently in the organization. Typically, a fighter doesn’t have to win seven fights in a row to get a shot at the title. However, with the large roster the UFC has currently, fighters need more wins to move up in the rankings. Magny has made real improvements in his last couple fights and has proven he can finish fights against decent competition. It’s time for Magny to get a legitimate top ten opponent. Many had questioned just how good Magny is, but he’s proven worthy of his top 15 ranking. #5  A Good Start – For the first ever UFC event in the Philippines, the promotion has to be happy with the outcome of the card. The event was a sellout with over 13,000 in attendance. The crowd was engaged in the fights and presented an excellent atmosphere for the card. Mark Munoz getting the victory had the crowd on its feet. While there currently aren’t many MMA fighters from the island, there are a few Filipino fighters on the roster and most have an exciting, attack-first mentality. The type of fighter that is easy for fans to root for. The UFC is off to a strong start in the country and I expect it to become a yearly stop on the UFC’s world tour.  

Written by Jay Primetown

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