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UFC Fight Night 66 'Prelims' undercard preview and predictions, Pt. 1

More fights are coming to Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., May 16, 2015) when UFC Fight Night 66: “Edgar vs. Faber” kicks off from Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. MMAmania.com's Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC Fight Night 66 "Prelims" party with the first installment of a two-part under card preview series.

Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Well, it can't be more disappointing to the local fans than what happened two weeks ago (cough, Manny Pacquiao).

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is off to one of combat sports' most storied locales this Saturday (May 16, 2015) when UFC Fight Night 66 crashes into Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, with an arguable "super" fight at the helm.

In the main event, former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) kingpin Urijah Faber -- who has never lost a non-title fight -- faces off with one of the most talented fighters lighter than 170 pounds, former Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

The card will also see a pair of intriguing middleweight bouts as Gegard Mousasi faces Costas Philippou in the co-main event and local favorite Mark Munoz fights for the last time against the towering Luke Barnatt.

We've got six "Prelims" undercard matches before all that, two of which will stream online via Fight Pass and the remainder on FOX Sports 1.

Here's what you'll have to get up early for this Saturday:

135 lbs.: Ning Guangyou vs. Royston Wee

As Tiequan Zhang’s first featherweight pick on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "China," Ning Guangyou (4-2-1) made his way to the Finale behind two brutal knockouts. Because of an injury to Jianping Yang, "Smasher" was forced to wait until UFC Fight Night 48: "Bisping vs. Le" card to claim victory with a unanimous decision.

His two losses, the latter of which was back in 2010, came against Korean standouts Kyung Ho Kang and A-Sol Kwan.

Royston Wee (4-0) became Singapore’s first Octagon representative in Jan. 2014 when he defeated Dave Galera by unanimous decision. He had a tougher time against Zhikui Yao, but managed to retain his perfect record with a split decision victory.

He is five years Ning’s junior.

On Tapology and MMAPlayground, it seems that most are picking Wee and I’m not entirely sure about the reason Though a solid wrestler, he’s quite limited in other areas of the game. Ning has the Greco-Roman prowess to shut down Wee, plus the crushing power in his left hand to punish his foe’s limited striking ability.

Ning was worryingly passive in the latter portion of his bout with Yang, which is cause for concern, but he has enough of an advantage in most aspects of the game for me to pick him regardless. TUF winner lays his man out sometime in the first round.

Prediction: Ning via first-round knockout

125 lbs.: Roldan Sangcha-an vs. Jon delos Reyes

Roldan Sangcha-an (4-1) -- a member of the Philippines’ prolific Team Lakay -- joined UFC with four finishes in four wins. In his debut, "The Executioner" went down to New Zealand to face Richie Vaculik, losing a unanimous decision to the Aussie veteran.

His four wins are split between knockouts and submission.

Jon delos Reyes (7-4) got off to a flying start in his Octagon debut, dropping Dustin Kimura in the early going of their clash in Jan. 2014. After tapping to a come-from-behind armbar, Reyes dropped to 125 pounds, where he was paired up with top prospect Kyoji Horiguchi and TKO’d late in the first round.

All but one of his wins have come inside the first round.

Sangcha-an’s bout with Vaculik demonstrated that he has the age-old Team Lakay issue: Quality striking without the wrestling necessary to put it to use. That said, teammate Mark Eddiva has impressed me with his counter-wrestling up at 145 pounds and Reyes’ record is completely empty.

I think I like Sangcha-an here.

Despite the experience disadvantage, Sangcha-an has the tougher schedule on paper and, at 24, should be improving fight-to-fight. "The Executioner" stuffs enough takedowns and controls enough of the striking to earn a close decision win.

Prediction: Sangcha-an via unanimous decision

125 lbs.: Nolan Ticman vs. Yao Zhikui

Nolan Ticman (4-2) -- fighting out of Kings MMA alongside the likes of Lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos -- debuted last August against future "2015 Upset of the Year" contender Frankie Saenz in Bangor. He struggled with his opponent’s wrestling prowess en route to losing the decision, his second defeat in three fights.

His first three professional wins each lasted less than 90 seconds.

Yao Zhikui's (1-2) run on TUF: "China" ended in the semifinals with a loss to Yang Jianping. He made his debut in the organization proper not on the "Finale," but on the promotion’s subsequent trip to Macau, where he lost a contentious decision to unbeaten Singaporean Royston Wee.

Along with his professional win, "The Conqueror" scored a knockout of Allen Chong in the opening round of TUF: "China."

Ticman has a lot going for him despite his loss; it was his first fight in almost two years and came against an opponent who beat Iuri Alcantara in his next fight. In addition, he’s fighting out of a camp that’s been absolutely on fire lately. While I believe Yao deserved the nod over Wee, he’s likely outclassed here.

Ticman’s speed and overall technical prowess should be a step above his opponent’s. Expect him to ground and tap Yao in the early going.

Prediction: Ticman via first-round submission

Three more undercard bouts to preview and predict tomorrow, including a bunch of international TUF veterans.

Same time as always!

Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 66 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. ET, the FOX Sports 1 undercard at 8 a.m. right on through the FOX Sports 1 main card at 10 a.m. ET.

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