UFC 156 is this Saturday, February 2nd airing live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Paradise, Nevada. The main event will feature a Featherweight title match between Champion Jose Aldo and challenger Frankie Edgar who is dropping down from 155lbs for the first time since losing his belt. This card is stacked with big fights and big names so expect a night full of action. The Facebook prelims start at 6:35pm, then FX will air the next set of prelim fights starting at 8:00pm and the main card can be seen on pay-per-view starting at 10:00pm. Enjoy the predictions and UFC 156 fight card.
Facebook Prelims: 1-1-0
135lbs – Edwin Figueroa (2-1 UFC) vs. Francisco Rivera (1-1-1 UFC) – Rivera via TKO – Rivera is dropping down from 145lbs, has much better striking then Figueroa and just as good a ground game as Figueroa. Correct plus method
135lbs – Chico Camus (1-0 UFC) vs. Dustin Kimura (0-0 UFC) – Camus via decision – Camus has a decent chance at getting the TKO finish, but Kimura will try to make this a grappling match for the entire fight. Wrong - Kimura won via submission
FX Prelims: 1-3-0
155lbs – Yves Edwards (10-6 UFC) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (0-0 UFC) – Edwards via TKO – Edwards has a huge experience advantage in this fight and will use that to get a TKO or submission finish. Wrong - Vallie Flagg won via split decision
155lbs – Jacob Volkmann (6-3 UFC) vs. Bobby Green (0-0 UFC) – Volkmann via decision – Green has some really good striking and defense, but Volkmann has much better wrestling and will use it. Wrong - Green won via submission
170lbs – Tyron Woodley (0-0 UFC) vs. Jay Hieron (0-3 UFC) – Woodley via decision – Hieron is a solid fighter, but hasn’t had any luck with matchups in the UFC and this will be another tough test for him. Correct
155lbs – Gleison Tibau (11-6 UFC) vs. Evan Dunham (6-3 UFC) – Tibau via decision – Dunham is a real scrapper and might give Tibau problems, but Tibau is so strong and will get into dominant positions. Wrong - Dunham won via split decision
Main Card: 3-2-0 Total MMA Predictions: 85-55-0 = 61%
125lbs – Joseph Benavidez (3-1 UFC) vs. Ian McCall (0-1-1 UFC) – Benavidez via decision – Both men have great speed and striking, but Benavidez is the better wrestler and should use that to his advantage to win on the scorecards. Correct plus method
170lbs – Jon Fitch (14-2-1 UFC) vs. Demian Maia (11-4 UFC) – Maia via submission – Fitch said he likes to allow submission attempts in fights to tire his opponent out. That won’t fly with Maia who has THE BEST jiu-jitsu in all of MMA and won’t have an issue with tiring out as he knows what submissions to go for. Correct
265lbs – Alistair Overeem (1-0 UFC) vs. Antonio Silva (1-1 UFC) – Overeem via TKO – Neither fighter will be able to hold the other down on the ground and on the feet this is an easy one to call as Silva just doesn’t have the chin to strike with Overeem. Wrong - Silva won via TKO
205lbs – Rashad Evans (12-2-1 UFC) vs. Antônio Rogério Nogueira (3-2 UFC) – Evans via decision – Evans will be able to hang with Nogueira on the feet and may even get the better of the exchanges. On the ground Evans will be in top control escaping submissions and throwing down punches. Wrong - Nogueira won via unanimous decision
145lbs – José Aldo (3-0 UFC) vs. Frankie Edgar (9-3-1 UFC) – Aldo via TKO – Edgar consistently gets rocked in fights, but this time he’s fighting a finisher. Edgar will get knocked out if he strikes with Aldo, so he may try to out wrestle him for 5 rounds but Aldo is so good at staying on his feet. Correct
The UFC will take next week off as it sets up for UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald which will be airing on Saturday, February 16th live from London, United Kingdom. The main event will feature an Interim title fight between champion Renan Barao and Michael McDonald. Dominick Cruz is the true champion of the Bantamweight division but he’s been injured for over a year now and since then Barao has won the Interim Championship. Barao may what it takes to defeat Cruz when he gets back to the UFC though so make sure to keep an eye out for him. Feel free to comment on the fight picks and check back in for more UFC and Bellator predictions.