In the realm of so-called "superfights," there's one hypothetical match-up that has struck the imagination for years. That is a fight between former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
As of Wednesday night, that fight has become a reality. UFC Tonight reported that Faber will officially meet Edgar in a five-round featherweight bout to headline the UFC's inaugural visit to the Philippines on May 16.
The event will take place at the SM MOA Arena in Manila.
For Faber (32-7), it will mark the first time that he's competed at 145 pounds since he fought Jose Aldo for the featherweight title at WEC 48 in 2010. "The California Kid" is coming off semi-controversial finish of Francisco Rivera at UFC 181 in December, in which he delivered an inadvertent eye-poke that set up the end sequence. Moments later, Rivera tapped to a bulldog choke.
Before then Faber submitted Alex Caceres at UFC 175 via a third-round rear-naked choke. The 35-year old fan favorite has won six of his last seven fights in the UFC, his lone loss coming in a bantamweight title fight against Renan Barao at UFC 169 in New Jersey. That first-round stoppage (TKO) was considered early by many fans.
"This fight was hard to put together," Faber's manager, MIke Roberts, told Ariel Helwani. "I think Urijah and Frankie both know this is a legacy fight and wanted to do it for the fans. At least I know that's true for Urijah. It was the hardest fight to put together for me, ever."
Edgar (18-4-1) has won three fights in a row in the UFC's featherweight division, after losing his title bid against Jose Aldo at UFC 156 (via unanimous decision). In his last fight, a dominating victory over contender Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night 57 in Austin, he reinserted himself as a contender at 145 pounds.
Yet series of circumstances are bringing Faber and Edgar together. With Irishman Conor McGregor next in line for a title shot at featherweight, and Faber's fight with Raphael Assuncao scrapped due to an injury to the Brazilian, the timing opened up to put the fight together.