UFC 156 preview
Edgar lost back-to-back fights to current lightweight champion Benson Henderson and opted to drop down to what people call his natural weight at 145 lbs. He has been the underdog in so many fights and this will be no different. Based on his ability to beat arguably the greatest lightweight of all-time in BJ Penn (twice), and then being out on his feet in that memorable first round against the bully Gray Maynard; only to get stronger as the fight went on in earning a knockout win--doubting Frankie Edgar may be a thought you should eliminate from your mind.
Even with Edgar dropping down to 145lbs, he will still be the smaller fighter. Aldo may be fighting his last fight at 145 lbs. It has already been discussed of him making the leap up to lightweight, and a win over Edgar would move him that much closer to that becoming a reality. This fight will determined by how technical each guy is with standup. Both are tremendous boxers in MMA and it may come down to who makes a mistake and gets caught. I do wonder how much of an impact Aldo’s layoff will have. This is his first fight in over a year. Will cage rust be a factor?
Rashad Evans is fighting his first fight in nearly 9 months. Last time he fought he went the distance with UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Now while he’s been the only fighter to go 5 rounds with Jones, it was the safest 5 rounds you will ever see from a challenger. I was a big Rashad Evans fan and rooted for him in that fight against Jones. However, as the fight went on I became a disappointed fan, who saw a guy that realized he couldn’t win and instead decided not to get stopped or knocked out. Evans did nothing to makes Jones uncomfortable and was content to keep the distance and take the loss via decision.
Since then Evans has been almost MIA, and it was rumored he may drop down to middleweight to challenge Anderson Silva. Evans has come out and said he could beat Silva because he presents problems for one of the best ever. Now after Jon Jones mentioned recently that he would like a rematch with Evans so he could finish him this time, Evans has now said he would also like that rematch. Whether it’s Anderson Silva or Jones, if the Rashad Evans who showed up to fight Jon Jones gets in the cage--I have zero interest in seeing the fight. A challenger should be hungry and take calculated risks, especially when losing on the scorecards in the championship rounds. Evans did nothing that showed he wanted to be a champion again.
At UFC 156 Evans returns to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira aka Lil Nog, who has beaten some of the best the business has to offer. He is dangerous with his standup, but in his last two losses was grounded by Ryan Bader and Phil Davis. I feel we could see a lot of of Rashad Evans on top and in control. Rinse and repeat for 3 rounds. Unless we get the surprise knockout, this could be a wrestling clinic for Evans.
Alistar Overeem makes his return to the UFC after being suspended due to failing a pre fight drug test. Overeem enters the cage against Antonio ‘Big Foot’ Silva. Overeem will look to take advantage of his superior striking, while Silva will try to utilize his ground game. This fight doesn’t bode well for Silva, who was absolutely destroyed in losses to Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier. Overeem would have to come in overconfident and underestimate Silva to lose this fight. However, I doubt anyone should ever take a fighter lightly who has a win over the greatest of all-time Fedor Emelianenko.
And I’m not going to disrespect Jon Fitch by calling him the bathroom break. However, his fight against Damian Maia has decision written all over it. If you like wrestling--enjoy! Maia is unbeaten since dropping down to welterweight, and is more than capable of catching Fitch in a submission from his back.
How can you not be excited for this card? It should be great.