When: Saturday Feb 2nd
Time: 5:00 PM MST
Channels: Pay-per-view, FX and Facebook
Where: Las Vegas - Mandalay Bay
Tonight at UFC 156 could be one of the greatest UFC fights we’ve ever seen when a clash of 145lb titans will without a doubt send fight fans into sensory overload. The current UFC 145lb Champion and arguably one of MMA’s pound for pound greatest fighters, Jose Aldo will tangle with arguably one of MMA’s toughest competitors and former 155lb Champion, Frankie Edgar will battle it out to see which man will stand atop the mountain.
Both men have truly mesmerizing skills and a deep desire to remain and become champions again. Aldo brings “all-world” striking skills, amazing athleticism and such a surgical approach to fighting that it is truly like watching an artist create a masterpiece right in front of you.
Frankie Edgar is without a doubt one of the toughest men to ever grace the UFC’s octagon and has provided fans with battles that have left most fans with their mouth’s wide open in amazement. Frankie is NEVER out of a fight, and for those that think that they will put away the Toms River NJ hero….they’ve always got another thing coming.
This is a very long awaited match-up as many MMA pundits have always stated that Frankie should be fighting in the UFC’s incredibly nasty 145lb division. However, Frankie has been busy winning titles in the UFC’s absolute shark tank in the 155lb division by beating men that outsize him by 25-40 lbs….regularly.
This will be Frankie’s first duel at 145lbs and there is no tougher opponent to lock horns with “Scarface” himself. Fight fans…you are in for absolute treat tonight, so make sure you and your friends are parked somewhere to watch these two legends put on a memorable show of tests and wills.
Let’s jump right into breaking down the rest of tonight’s epic Main Card.
MAIN - Pay-per-view, 8 p.m. MST
Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar - 145lb title
Jose Aldo - is absolutely one of the greatest MMA fighters on planet earth today. His deadly combination of striking, explosiveness, composure with a killer instinct and mostly insane athleticism has left a trail of terror for his battered opponents as he rapidly climbed the ranks of the UFC’s Featherweight division. Aldo is a giant 145lber and walks at roughly 170-175 lbs. It is no secret that weight cuts for him have been the most difficult part of his truly impressive journey.
Frankie Edgar - is a people’s champion in every sense of the word. We’ve seen a modern day Rocky story with many of Frankie’s fights…but one thing remains constant when you are dealing with Frankie…you better have your best night ever. Frankie’s durability is simply amazing, his “never say die” will to win is the stuff that legends are genuinely made of and Frankie’s historical “David vs Goliath” scraps have made him one of the most endeared fighters in the UFC’s storied history. The question of this fight is simply, “can Frankie survive the early onslaught of the uber-talented Brazilian champion and take him into the championship rounds or with the razor sharp skills of the man called, “Scarface” be too much for the former UFC 155lb champion?
Examiners Pick: As talented as Aldo is, we rarely see him go into later rounds and especially against such durable guys like Frankie. This is where Frankie is unbeatable and Examiner is picking Frankie to survive the early firestorm and drag the super-champ Aldo into late rounds where he will push the Champion into the deepest and darkest place he’s ever been in a fight. Frankie Edgar will beat Jose Aldo by decision in a jaw dropping fight for the ages to claim the UFC’s 145lb title. He will become only the 3rd man to ever hold 2 UFC titles and without question become one of the greatest pound for pound fighters of all-time.
Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Rashad Evans - is a former UFC Light Heavyweight champion that has a great opportunity to fight for the title again if he can past one of the most underrated opponents in “Lil Nog”. Rashad’s outstanding wrestling base and speed…coupled with his explosiveness will be the recipe needed for a big night against the crafty Brazilian veteran Noguiera.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - “Lil Nog” has somewhat always been in his bigger brother’s MMA shadow. However, Lil Nog has some seriously nasty skills of his own and a lifetime of fighting experience to go with them. He will need to use his professional level boxing to set up takedowns where his blackbelt level Jiu-Jitsu could be the answer against the super quick & explosive challenger.
Examiners Pick: As rugged and as tough as Lil Nog has shown in his MMA career, signs of slowing down have been evident in some of his recent outings. That said, he is dealing with a guy that is as close to his prime as you could possibly face in Rashad Evans and for that reason…Examiner is picking Rashad Evans to be too quick, too explosive and too fast for the aging Noguiera. Rashad Evans wins by TKO late in Round 2 to set up another future title fight.
Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva
Alistair Overeem - is absolutely one of the greatest strikers in MMA’s heavyweight division. He is a former K-1 Grand Prix Champion with a storied career in Pride, K-1 and now the UFC. The sculpted giant beat the brakes off of the former UFC champion Brock Lesnar and has recently completed serving a lengthy suspension for banned substances. Will he be sharp enough to stave off the man known as “Bigfoot” or will the well rounded Brazilian heavyweight be just too much for the massive veteran known as “The Reem”?
Antonio Silva - “Bigfoot” Silva is a very highly skilled heavyweight with very surprising performances. He is either “really on” or he is “really off”. He will absolutely need to be “really on” tonight as this heated rivalry has reached its boiling point. Both men feel that this fight can be the catalyst to a huge title fight against the UFC’s reigning heavyweight champion, Cain Valasquez.
Examiners Pick: Since we have seen some pretty apparent inconsistencies from Bigfoot in the recent past, The Reem is nobody to have an “off-day” against. The Reem is going to bring his lethal striking to a man that is also a huge target and has had his problems dealing with heavy-handed strikers. For that reason, Examiner is picking The Reem (aka The Demolition Man) to demolish the Brazilian giant in a lopsided striking display that will send Overeem into a title fight against current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia
Jon Fitch - is one of those guys that just doesn’t really ever lose. He has shown the ability to find a way to win except all but 2 of his opponents in his MMA career. This man has one of the best MMA wrestling games in the sport and has found a consistency to negating big hitters by planting them on their backs and implementing his version of “ground and control”.
Demian Maia - is one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC in any division and ironically, he’s got one of the best ground games in all of MMA. Maia’s new arrival in the UFC’s 170lb should be a real eye-opener for this division, because he is one guy that if you make 1 small mistake…you will wake up wondering what just happened.
Examiners Pick: This is one of those fantastic match-ups that could easily be the Fight of the Night if the other fights are more “cautious”. This fight is one that Examiner will have a very close eye on. Two men with amazing ground games could negate each other’s skills and end up throwing bombs to surprise even the most seasoned MMA pundits. I don’t think it will go that way, and for that reason this Examiner will always go with American wrestling over Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from guys at this level. Examiner is picking Jon Fitch to win by unanimous decision over the super skilled BJJ artist in a technical ground war.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall
Joseph Benavidez - is a fantastic new addition to the newly formed 125lb division. JoeB brings great strength, speed and a fantastic wrestling game in with him against the man they call, “Uncle Creepy”. Both guys will have insane cardio and both guys will push a crazy fast pace for the main card’s first fight. JoeB will also have the expertise of Colorado’s own, Duane “BANG” Ludwig since he recently has relocated to Sacramento to be the new head striking coach for JoeB’s team.
Ian McCall - Ian McCall is a guy that was able to take current champion, Demetrious Johnson to a highly debated split decision in their epic battles. That means that he has the skills to not only be champion one day…but also be a bad match-up for Joe Benavidez tonight. Look for Uncle Creepy to take the fight to JoeB and capitalize from some of Joe’s occasional wild striking.
Examiners Pick: It seems as though Uncle Creepy has recently focused on more smack-talking than normal, and that could be a sign of less focus than is needed against a very game opponent in JoeB. Examiner thinks that Benavidez will be too big, too strong and overall too much for Uncle Creepy tonight as JoeB will win a unanimous decision and get a title shot against the reigning champion, Demetrious Johnson.
PRELIMINARY (FX, 6 p.m. MST)
PRELIMINARY (Facebook, 6 p.m. MST)