The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns home to Sin City this Saturday, Feb. 2, to host UFC 156, a featherweight championship fight. A four-time lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar has a chance to do something only two other fighters have done in the UFC: win a championship in two different weight classes.
A win for Jose Aldo could solidify his reputation as one of the most dominant champions in mixed martial arts. This should be the favorite for Fight of the Night.
A potential No. 1 contender spot could also be on the line if Alistair Overeem can get past Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Hopefully, the cage is still standing for the main event after these two huge fighters finish their bout.
The pay-per-view card will kick off at 9 p.m. while the undercard will be aired live on network cable television starting at 7 p.m..
Main Event: Live on Pay-Per-View
Jose “Junior” Aldo vs. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar
Jose Aldo – Manaus, Brazil, 5-7, 145 pounds, 21-1-0 (featherweight champion)
Frankie Edgar – Summit, N.J., 5-6, 145 pounds, 14-3-1 (former lightweight champion)
Frankie Edgar moves down in weight for the first time to challenge for the featherweight title in what will be his seventh championship fight in a row. This will be his first in the featherweight division, but the competition will not get any easier.
Jose Aldo is on a 14-fight winning streak while going 11-0 in the UFC. Since fighting under the UFC banner, Aldo has not only gone undefeated but has finished eight out of his 11 opponents. This will be interesting, as this fight will be scheduled for five rounds and Edgar has never been finished. He has been in some wars as of late and is more battle-tested than anyone in MMA.
Aldo has only fought twice in two years while Edgar has faced much stiffer competition and much more of it in the same time frame. We will see if this experience will payoff for Edgar.
Edgar by Unanimous Decision
Rashad “Suga” Evans vs. Antonio “Lil Nog” Nogueira
Rashad Evans – Niagara Falls, N.Y., 5-11, 205 pounds, 22-2-1 (former light heavyweight champion)
Antonio Nogueira – Bahia, Brazil, 6-2, 205 pounds, 20-5-0
This fight will tell what we will see from Rashad Evans in the future. With a dominating win, Evans will more than likely keep plugging ahead for another title shot with Jon Jones. With a loss, it is certain that Evans will drop in weight to move into the middleweight division where he will be a much-needed addition.
Antonio “Big Nog” Nogueira’s little twin brother, Antonio “Lil Nog” Nogueira, will have nothing on his mind but finishing Rashad Evans as quickly as possible. This will propel Nogueira to move up in the light heavyweight ranks toward the No. 1 contender spot. He will have to wait even with a dominating win, because this division is getting very crowded at the top, but a loss here will be a huge setback.
If either guy wants a shot at the light heavyweight title, there is no way they can afford a loss here. It could set them so far back they may never get back into No. 1 contention.
Evans by Split Decision
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva vs. Alistair Overeem
Antonio Silva – Brailisa, Brazil, 6-4,265 pounds, 17-4-0
Alistair Overeem – Hounslow, England, 6-5, 255 pounds, 36-11-1
Perhaps the most anticipated fight of the night will be these two heavyweights. These fighters are two of the biggest men in the division. Antonio Silva and Alistair Overeem are very well-rounded in all aspects of MMA, however, Overeem has an advantage in striking ability. His striking isn’t just good. It’s exceptional.
Overeem has devastating kicks, knees and punches and has a legitimate ground game to go with it. If Overeem comes in healthy, he should be able to end this in the late second or early third round. Silva has the ability to win, but it would be an upset.
Overeem by TKO (Strikes)
Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia
Jon Fitch – Fort Wayne, Ind., 6-0, 170 pounds, 27-4-1
Demian Maia – Sao Paulo, Brazil, 6-0,170 pounds, 17-4-0
A grappler’s dream matchup will feature the very best at their respective games, Jon Fitch, the wrestler, versus Demian Maia, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist. This will definitely be one that determines the bragging rights of which martial art remains supreme in MMA. These two fighters should hit the mat in a matter of seconds. From there, it will be a ground chess match for the entire fight.
Fitch by Unanimous Decision
Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall
Joseph Benavidez – San Antonio, 5-4, 125 pounds, 16-3-0
Ian McCall – Newport Beach, Calif., 5-5, 125 pounds, 11-3-1
McCall by Unanimous Decision
Undercard: Live on FX channel
Gleison Tibau vs. Evan Dunham
Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley vs. Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron
Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann vs. Bobby “King” Green
Yves Edwards vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg
Live on facebook.com/ufc
Chico “The King” Camus vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Kimura
Edwin “El Feroz” Figueroa vs. Francisco “Cisco” Rivera