UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar – Preview, PDG Guest Panel Picks and Event Coverage

UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar – Preview, PDG Guest Panel Picks and Event Coverage

By PDG Staff

 

 

 

 

*Click here for UFC 156 Weigh-In Results and Video*

*Click here for UFC 156 Live Results and Extended Event Coverage*

 

 

The UFC has made a habit of delivering solid events on Super Bowl weekend, and this weekend is no different.  UFC 156, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, features a UFC featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

 

In an excellent, although overshadowed, co-main event is a light-heavyweight pairing between former UFC champion and The Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Rashad Evans against PRIDE veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.  The main card also features a blockbuster heavyweight bout with Alistair Overeem returning from a drug related suspension to take on Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in PDG’s Match-Up of the Night. Jon Fitch and Demian Maia will battle for position in the welterweight division and the remaining main card bout, airing on pay-per-view, pits former #1 flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez versus formerly #1 ranked flyweight Ian McCall.

 

The preliminary card features six bouts, with two airing live on the UFC’s official Facebook page and the other four airing for free on FX.  On the Facebook portion of the card bantamweights Francisco Rivera and Edwin Figueroa each look to extend their winning streaks, while Chico Camus faces UFC newcomer Dustin Kimura.

 

On the FX portion of the preliminary card fan favorite Jay Hieron faces UFC newcomer Tyron Woodley and “Christmas” Jacob Volkmann meets Strikeforce import Bobby Green.  Also featured is a stand-out lightweight bout between Evan Dunham and Gleison Tibau and another lightweight bout between contender Yves Edwards and UFC newcomer Isaac Vallie-Flagg rounds out the UFC 156 card.

 

 

 

Jose Aldo (21-1) vs. Frankie Edgar (15-3-1)

UFC Featherweight Title Bout

 

Jose Aldo entered the UFC as the promotion’s first featherweight champion after reigning as king of the WEC.  Aldo enters Saturday’s bout on an impressive fourteen-fight win streak, including wins in each of his eight WEC appearances.

 

After earning impressive stoppages over Alexandre Franca Nogueira, TUF winner Jonathan Brookins, Rolando Perez, and Chris Mickle, Aldo stepped up to face Cub Swanson, finishing the highly-regarded fighter in a mere eight seconds.  Aldo then challenged Mike Brown for the WEC title, finishing the American Top Team fighter with ground and pound in the second round.  Aldo then successfully defended his title twice by outclassing Urijah Faber and knocking out Manny Gamburyan.

 

Aldo then transitioned to the UFC where he out-pointed Mark Hominick in a tough, ugly fight at UFC 129.  Then he out-pointed former lightweight contender Kenny Florian and most recently he knocked out Chad Mendes to extend his win streak to fourteen.  This will be Aldo’s first fight since January 2012, after he suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident.

 

Quick Facts:

UFC Record: 3-0 (1 KO)

Strengths: Big, powerful featherweight, black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu

Weaknesses: Questionable conditioning

Key Wins: Kenny Florian, Cub Swanson, Mike Brown, Urijah Faber, Manny Gamburyan Jonathan Brookins, Mark Hominick

Notable Loss: Luciano Azevedo

 

 

Frankie Edgar enters this fight after losing a rematch for the UFC lightweight title against Benson Henderson and subsequently dropping to featherweight.  Prior to the two losses to Henderson (albeit, most thought he won the second fight), Edgar had a trio of wins over Hermes Franca, former UFC champion Sean Sherk, and Matt Veach, and then he  challenged former two-division champion B.J. Penn for the lightweight title.

 

Edgar edged out a decision over Penn to earn the lightweight title.  The two rematched four months later, with Edgar winning another decision.  Edgar then met Gray Maynard in a rematch, looking to avenge the sole loss of his career.  The two fought an incredible battle ending in a draw.  The two met for a third time over a year and a half later.  The third bout, which took place at UFC 136, started much like the second, but this time ended in the fourth round with Edgar earning a TKO stoppage.

 

Edgar, who was notably undersized at lightweight and should definitely benefit by dropping to featherweight, owns four wins by TKO and two by submission.  Edgar was an NCAA Div I wrestler and owns a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

 

Quick Facts:

UFC Record: 9-3-1 (2 TKO, 1 Sub)

Strengths: Heart, excellent boxing, superior conditioning

Weaknesses: Striking defense

Key Wins: BJ Penn (2x), Gray Maynard, Tyson Griffin, Mark Bocek, Jim Miller, Deividas Taurosevicius, Spencer Fisher

Notable Losses: Benson Henderson (2x), Gray Maynard

 

 

PunchDrunkGamer’s UFC 156 Main Event Guest Panel Picks:

 

Greg Nelson (Founder – Minnesota Martial Arts Academy) – “I am going to go with Edgar, but looking forward to a great fight. I feel this fight has the making to be a great fight, however I feel Edgar’s wrestling will make the difference. He has been able to deal at 155 very well, without really cutting, his best fighting weight I feel will be at 145, he will be strong and maintain his footwork. Aldo’s kicking ability and awesome footwork will be a challenge for Edgar, but will also leave openings for takedowns. It will nice to be there live.”

 

Paul Bradley (20-5, Strikeforce and UFC Vet) – “Have to go with Aldo by decision.  With his strength, footwork, and kicks I think that will be the determining factor in this fight.”

 

Ryan Couture (6-1, Son of UFC Hall of Famer) – “Aldo vs. Edgar is an excellent match up and a fight that I’m really looking forward to.  I think that Frankie will use his wrestling advantage to keep Aldo from getting his kicking game going.  Between that and his phenomenal conditioning, I expect him to put Jose on his back in all five rounds on his way to winning a decision.”

 

Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler (15-8, FCF Women’s Bantamweight Grand Prix Champion) – Frankie is one of my favorite fighters so I will be cheering for him. Although I think Jose wins this one.

 

Chris Bradford (Owner/Head Trainer – Top Tier Muay Thai) – Great match-up and I am going to have to go with Aldo via stoppage.”

 

Matt Lindland (22-9, US Olympic Silver Medalist) – “I must admit that I am an Edger fan and thought he won the rematch against Henderson. I see Frankie taking this one by decision but it should be a fun and interesting fight.”

 

Mark Pavelich (CEO of Maximum Fighting Championship) – “It would be cool if Edgar won but I like both fighters, there both awesome and it should be an exciting fight.”

 

Ken Pavia (Former Manager, Promoter and Industry Consultant) – “If Aldo has a weakness and that is a big ‘IF’, it is wrestlers. I picked Edgar to lose to BJ Penn twice and also to Gray Maynard. I won’t make that mistake again. Welcome Frankie to 145 division with the win and the strap.”

 

Poppy Thompson (Shock ‘N Awe Cage Girl) – “It’s got to be Jose Aldo, I don’t see it any other way.”

 

Jesse Finney (5-1, Owner of Finney’s H.I.T. Squad Gym) – “I think this fight has the chance to be great fight. It going to come down to striker vs grappler. If Aldo can catch him early it could change the fight but if Edger can establish the takedowns that could the fight!! I am going to have to go with Edgar in a five round decision with wrestling being the factor in the fight.”

 

Tim Hague (14-7, UFC and KOTC Veteran) – “Got to go with Frankie Edgar via decision.”

 

Damon Martin (Sound Off Radio Host/Lead Writer for MMAWeekly.com) – “Frankie Edgar – I believe he’s going to show the world that not only was he the best lightweight in the world, but he was doing it in a featherweight’s body. His speed will be there, no one needs to worry about that and I think his takedowns are the great equalizer to Aldo’s kicks. I just love Edgar’s heart and determination and if there’s one guy that can make Jose Aldo work for every single thing he gets in this fight, it is Edgar”

 

Thomas Denny (27-20-1, Former King of the Cage Welterweight Champion ) – “Jose Aldo will win with a TKO in the 3rd round. Frankie will be using his speed but he will be overwhelmed and finished in the 3rd round.”

 

Scott Casber (Takedown Radio) – Well, well, well, the time has finally arrived and I couldn’t be any more excited that Frankie Edgar finally gets to exercise some of his demons. Even demons need to spread their wings. LOL! On December 16th, I spent the good majority of the day with Frankie at the Grapple at the Garden event at NY’s MSG and let me tell you the dude is hungry. My thought is that Frankie will take apart Aldo and withstand the barrage of elbows and punches that will most likely come from Jose. I got Frankie hands down no matter how he wins it. What a champion and what a fighter, Edgar is the Answer.  Next question….”

 

Josh Grispi (14-4, UFC and WEC Veteran) – “Two words, Jose Aldo.”

 

Muhsin Corbbrey (10-8, Shidokan World Champion) –“Interesting fight, I think Aldo will knock him out in the 3rd round.”

 

Andy Main (5-1, Ultimate Fighter Alum) – “Superfights have been all the rage as of late with the dominant champions in the UFC so it’s exciting that the champ and former champ will actually meet. As a jersey boy I am behind Frankie in this fight, but unfortunately I think he’s in a tough spot. His speed is what separated him at 155 but it has not been tested at 145. Also, if any “weakness” was exposed by his fight with Benson, it’s that he’s susceptible to a good leg kick, and he may be up against the best leg kicker in the game.

 

However, there is probably nobody better at beating the odds than Frankie Edgar. The one major edge should be cardio. Aldo can go the rounds, but can he keep Frankie’s pace in the 4th and 5th? We’ll see. I’m going to say technically Aldo is a more proficient fighter. But I think Frankie weathers the early rounds and takes 3,4, and 5 for a UD win.”

 

Ricardo Lamas (13-2, Riding 4-Fight UFC Win Streak) – “I am going to have to say Frankie Edgar by decision or Jose Aldo by knockout.”

 

Anthony Njokuani (15-7-1, UFC and WEC Veteran) – “I’m gonna go with Aldo. Edgar has the skills and he has a chance of getting it but with Aldo’s attributes, he’s gonna be hard to beat.”

 

Guest Panel Predictions Results:

Jose Aldo – 8

Frankie Edgar – 9

Undecided – 2

 

 

 

Rashad Evans (17-2-1) vs. Antônio Rogerio Nogueira (20-5)

Co-Main Event

 

Rashad Evans first made a name for himself by winning the second season of The Ultimate Fighter as a heavyweight. Evans quickly transitioned to the light heavyweight division and earned a 7-1-1 mark with the promotion to earn a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title.

 

Entering his title shot against Forrest Griffin, Evans had already compiled notable wins over former UFC champion Chuck Liddell, The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Michael Bisping, and The Ultimate Fighter 1 finalist Stephan Bonnar. Evans made the most of his title shot, knocking out Griffin with ground and pound in the third round. In Evans’ first title defense, however, he was knocked out for his first career loss by Lyoto Machida in the second round.

 

Evans rebounded with a decision win over highly-regarded Thiago Silva before appearing as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter opposite former UFC champion and PRIDE star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Following the conclusion of the show the two fought with Evans edging out a unanimous decision. Then Evans stopped former UFC champion Tito Ortiz with a knee to the body and punches in the second round at UFC 133. After a one-sided decision victory over Phil Davis, Evans once again fought for UFC gold but was defeated via unanimous decision by current champion Jon Jones.

 

Quick Facts:

UFC Record: 12-2-1 (5 TKO/KO)

Strengths: NCAA Division I Wrestling, excellent striking, black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu

Weaknesses: Questionable chin, undersized light heavyweight

Key Wins: Chuck Liddell, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Phil Davis, Michael Bisping, Forrest Griffin, Tito Ortiz

Notable Losses: Jon Jones, Lyoto Machida

 

 

Antônio Rogerio Nogueira, the twin brother of UFC heavyweight Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, has had mixed results so far in the UFC after his arrival following the fall of PRIDE and Affliction. The 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu enters this fight coming off of an impressive victory over Tito Ortiz via TKO at UFC 140.

 

Prior to that win, Nogueira was on a two-fight losing streak, the first of his career, coming at the hands of Ryan Bader and Phil Davis. Nogueira had joined the UFC winning his first two bouts over Luiz Cane and Jason Brilz. After compiling an 8-2 record in PRIDE with notable wins over Alistair Overeem, Kazushi Sakuraba, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Guy Mezger, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, and Dan Henderson, PRIDE was bought and subsequently shut down by Zuffa.

 

Nogueira would then fight under the Affliction, World Victory Road and Jungle Fights banners where he was a combined 5-0 including a knockout win over Vladimir Matyushenko, avenging an earlier career defeat. He began his mixed martial arts career nearly twelve years ago fighting for the Japanese regional promotion DEEP.

 

Quick Facts:

UFC Record: 3-2 (2 TKO)

Strengths: Solid boxing, excellent submissions and submission defense

Weaknesses: Takedown defense, age and cage rust

Key Wins: Tito Ortiz, Alistair Overeem (2x), Kazushi Sakuraba, Guy Mezger, Dan Henderson, Vladimir Matyushenko

Notable Losses: Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Ryan Bader, Maurício Shogun Rua, Phil Davis, Vladimir Matyushenko

 

 

Evans vs. Nogueira – Guest Panel Picks:

 

Thomas Denny (27-20-1, Former King of the Cage Welterweight Champion ) – ” I think that Rashad will use his athleticism to outwork Rogerio for the unanimous decision victory.”

 

Scott Casber (Takedown Radio) – “From Michigan State former UFC light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans comes back for the fight he needs to reacquaint himself with title contention.  It takes more than skill and good looks to win the fight and win the fans. It takes focus and it appears that Evans has refocused his game as he readies to battle Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. I got Evans, another very talented wrestler.”

 

Matt “The Law” Lindland (22-9, US Olympic Silver Medalist) – “I have Rashad winning this one by decision.”

 

Chris Bradford (Owner/Head Trainer – Top Tier Muay Thai) – “Should be a good fight, going to go with Rashad by decision.”

 

 

 

Alistair Overeem (36-11) vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (17-4)

PDG’s Match-Up of the Night

 

Alistair Overeem first made a name for himself in PRIDE as a light heavyweight, but in recent years has made a shift to heavyweight where he has become one of the world’s most captivating fighters.  Overeem enters Friday’s bout having won 11 of his last 12 bouts, and a no contest in the other.  During that span he also won K-1’s World Grand Prix, the DREAM heavyweight title, the Strikeforce heavyweight title and earned MMA victories over Brock Lesnar, Fabricio Werdum, Brett Rogers, Paul Buentello, Gary Goodridge, Todd Duffee, and Kazuyuki Fujita.

 

After fighting PRIDE’s 2006 Open-Weight Grand Prix champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to a no contest at DREAM 6, Overeem earned a pair of submission wins over Gary Goodridge and Tony Sylvester in smaller shows in a combined 3:10.  In his return to DREAM, Overeem then submitted James Thompson in only thirty-three seconds.

 

After wrapping up 2009 with a dominant knockout win over Kazuyuki Fujita on New Year’s Eve, Overeem fought only twice in mixed martial arts in 2010.  In his first bout of 2010 he stopped Brett Rogers with ground and pound to earn the Strikeforce heavyweight championship.  On New Year’s Eve 2010 he knocked out UFC veteran Todd Duffee in only nineteen seconds. Then Overeem entered the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix where he defeated Fabricio Werdum before withdrawing from the tournament due to injury. Oveerem then transitioned to the UFC where he crushed former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar in 2:26. In spring 2012, Overeem was set to fight then UFC champion Junior dos Santos but a failed drug test would keep Overeem out of the cage until this weekend.

 

Quick Facts:

UFC Record: 1-0 (1 TKO)

Strengths: Elite kickboxer, great submissions, physically powerful

Weaknesses: Conditioning problems throughout career

Key Wins: Brock Lesnar, Sergei Kharitonov, Vitor Belfort (2x), Brett Rogers, Mark Hunt, Kazuyuki Fujita, Todd Duffee, Paul Buentello, Roman Zentsov, Fabricio Werdum, James Thompson, Mark Hunt, Igor Vovchanchyn

Notable Losses: Mauricio Rua (2x), Chuck Liddell, Sergei Kharitonov, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (2x), Ricardo Arona, Fabricio Werdum, Bobby Hoffman

 

 

Antonio Silva made a name originally as a super heavyweight, but most recently in the 265 pound category with his powerful hands, speed, agility, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu prowess. Silva began his career with a 7-1 record, including wins over Tengiz Tedoradze, Ruben “Warpath” Villareal, and Tom Erikson before joining EXC.

 

Silva went 4-0 with Elite XC, winning his promotional debut over Wesley “Cabbage” Correira by TKO before submitting Jonathan Wiezorek with a rear naked choke. Silva then edged out a decision over former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez before knocking out Justin Eilers at Elite XC: Unfinished Business. Following his run in EXC, Silva went to Japan where he fought for SRC. With SRC, Silva earned wins over Yoshihiro Nakao (injury) and Jim York before joining Strikeforce. In his promotional debut Silva lost a decision to Fabricio Werdum, but he rebounded to put together a three-fight win streak. Silva’s rebound came as a unanimous decision over former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and was followed up by a knockout over Mike Kyle. Then Silva won the biggest fight of his career at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva when he won by TKO due to a doctor stoppage over Fedor Emelianenko in the opening round of Strikeforce’s heavyweight tournament. In the second round of the tournament though he ran into Daniel Cormier who crushed him in round one.

 

Since joining the UFC, Silva has both impressed and disappointed. In his first fight in the Octagon, Silva suffered his second consecutive loss as he was smashed by elbows and ground and pound courtesy of the current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. He was able to rebound though his second time out as Silva knocked out highly regarded heavyweight prospect Travis Browne in the main event at UFC on FX.

 

Quick Facts:

UFC Record: 1-1 (1 KO)

Strengths: Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, most wins by TKO, size

Weaknesses: Struggles most in bouts when he can’t score the takedown

Key Wins: Travis Browne, Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski, Mike Kyle, Tengiz Tedoradze

Notable Losses: Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, Fabricio Werdum, Eric Pele

 

 

Overeem vs. Silva – Guest Panel Picks:

 

Bas Boon (Head of Business Development at Glory Sports, Manager Golden Glory) – “If Overeem does not knock Silva out in the first three minutes of this fight, I think Silva wins.”

 

Chris Bradford (Owner/Head Trainer – Top Tier Muay Thai) – “Alistair Overeem is going to destroy Silva in the first round via KO (Right Hand).”

 

Scott Casber (Takedown Radio) – “Two of the biggest men in the business with big punching power will battle to see who indeed will become the Bull of The Woods. Alistair Overeem and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva are guys that can if needed go the distance. they won’t need to though as one will go down, witness the end of Big Foot!”

 

Matt “The Law” Lindland (22-9, US Olympic Silver Medalist) – “I think that Overeem will win with a KO, possibly in the second round.”

 

Thomas Denny (27-20-1, Former King of the Cage Welterweight Champion ) – “Alistair Overeem by brutal knockout in round 1.”

 

 

 

Jon Fitch (24-4-1) vs. Demian Maia (17-4)

 

Jon Fitch has been inching and fighting tooth and nail to get back to a title shot.  Despite one of the most impressive records in the UFC, Fitch’s fighting style has worked against him.  While technically beautiful and brutally effective, Fitch’s grinding style has not been fan-friendly.  Coupled with a string of tough opponents without big name value, Fitch has earned his spot in the top ranks of the 170-pound division by winning fights with a lot to lose in one-sided fashion.

 

After a big win streak in and out of the UFC, Fitch earned a shot at Georges St. Pierre’s welterweight crown in 2008.  Despite losing, Fitch showcased heart and durability, gaining respect of his fans and peers.  Following the loss he has put together another impressive run with five-consecutive wins.  After the loss Fitch earned a decision over PRIDE veteran Akihiro Gono, followed by a win over AKA rival Paulo Thiago.  Fitch then earned decisions over fan-favorite Ben Saunders and Thiago Alves, cementing himself as the number two welterweight in the world at the time.

 

After fighting BJ Penn to a majority draw at UFC 127 in Australia, Fitch was brutally knocked out by Johny Hendricks ending his chances at an upcoming title shot. Most recently though, he was able to rebound with a Fight of the Night win over Erick Silva. Fitch has a wrestling background at Purdue University and holds a black belt under Dave Camarillo in Guerilla jiu-jitsu – a blend of Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

 

Quick Facts:

UFC Record: 14-2-1 (3 Sub, 1 TKO)

Strengths: Black belt under Dave Camarillo, NCAA Div I wrestler, durable

Weaknesses: Mediocre striking

Key Wins: Thiago Alves (2x), Brock Larson, Diego Sanchez, Paulo Thiago, Ben Saunders, Erick Silva, Roan Carneiro, Luigi Fioravanti, Josh Burkman, Mike Pierce, Akihiro Gono

Notable Losses: Johny Hendricks, Georges St. Pierre, Mike Pyle, Wilson Gouveia

 

 

Demian Maia entered mixed martial arts as one of the world’s greatest Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners.  Maia joined the UFC with a perfect 9-0 record which included two TKO’s and three submissions and wins over Gustavo Machado and Fabio Nascimento.

 

In his first four UFC appearances Maia impressed with submissions over Ryan Jensen, Ed Herman, Jason MacDonald, and Chael Sonnen.  He then suffered the first loss of his career by knockout to Nate Marquardt, but was able to rebound with a win over Dan Miller.  Maia then challenged Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title, but fell short in a close decision.

 

After the loss Maia was able to string together a pair of wins over Mario Miranda and The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Kendall Grove, but was then edged out by Mark Munoz.  At UFC 136, Maia defeated former Sengoku champion Jorge Santiago by unanimous decision. That victory was followed by another loss, as Chris Weidman out-pointed Maia sending him back down the welterweight ladder. Since that loss, Maia has strung together two straight victories after Dong Hyun Kim suffered a rib injury and he choked out Rick Story at UFC 153.

 

Quick Facts:

UFC Record: 11-4 (6 Sub, 1 TKO)

Strengths: Improved striking, submission master, 4th degree black belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Weaknesses: Overall stand-up game, questionable conditioning (3 of 4 losses via decision)

Key Wins: Ed Herman, Jorge Santiago, Dong Hyun Kim, Dan Miller, Chael Sonnen, Nate Quarry

Notable Losses: Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman, Mark Munoz, Nate Marquardt

 

 

 

Joseph Benavidez (16-3) vs. Ian McCall (11-3-1)

 

Joseph Benavidez entered the inaugural UFC flyweight tournament on a strong three-fight win streak, including two appearances in the UFC.  Benavidez, most well known for his time in the WEC, compiled a 5-2 mark in the promotion – losing only to reigning bantamweight king Dominick Cruz.

 

Benavidez, who also owns a win in DREAM over Junya Kudo, began his WEC career with a pair of decisions over Danny Martinez and Jeff Curran.  Benavidez then lost to Cruz via decision, but was able to piece together a pair of stoppages over Rani Yahya and former WEC champion Miguel Torres.  Those wins earned Benavidez his first title shot in a rematch with Cruz, which he lost again by decision.

 

Benavidez then kicked off a three-fight winning streak by submitting Wagnney Fabiano in his final WEC appearance.  After the WEC merged into the UFC, Benavidez made his promotional debut with a decision over Ian Loveland and then he earned a unanimous decision over Eddie Wineland. Then at UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann, Benavidez defeated Yasuhiro Urushitani to move onto the finals of flyweight tournament where he would eventually face Demetrious Johnson. In a very tactical, somewhat non-crowd pleasing affair, Benavidez would lose a split decision to Johnson.

 

Quick Facts:

UFC Record: 3-1 (1 TKO)

Strengths: Fast, good wrestling, knockout power

Weaknesses: Struggles with faster fighters

Key Wins: Wagnney Fabiano, Jeff Curran, Rani Yahya, Miguel Torres, Yasuhiro Urushitani

Notable Losses: Demetrious Johnson, Dominick Cruz (2x)

 

 

Ian McCall entered the inaugural UFC flyweight tournament universally ranked as the world’s number one flyweight.  McCall was currently riding a four-fight win streak and had notably captured the Tachi Palace Fights flyweight title in his last fight for the promotion.

 

McCall kicked off that win streak by submitting Jeff Willingham with a first round triangle choke.  He then won his TPF debut with a unanimous decision over Jussier da Silva.  In his next appearance he earned another unanimous decision, this time over Dustin Ortiz.  The win over Ortiz set up McCall to face Darrell Montague for the TPF flyweight title.  McCall won with a third round rear naked choke.

 

McCall has also notably competed in the WEC where he compiled a lackluster 1-2 record.  In his promotional debut he stopped Coty Wheeler with punches in the third round, but was then submitted by Charlie Valencia with a first round guillotine choke.  His last WEC appearance was a decision loss to current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. In the semi-final of the flyweight tournament, McCall fought Demetrious Johnson to a controversial draw and the two rematched three months later at UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall. In the rematch, McCall was basically out-matched and Johnson won a unanimous decision with relative ease.

 

Quick Facts:

UFC Record: 0-1-1

Strengths: Excellent dirty boxing, good wrestler, knockout power

Weaknesses: Not the fastest flyweight, concentration

Key Wins: Darrell Montague, Jussier Formiga

Notable Losses: Demetrious Johnson, Dominick Cruz, Charlie Valencia

 

 

Bonus UFC 156 Guest Panel Picks from our friend Adam at MMA Roasted:

 

 

 

 

UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar – Fight Card

 

Main Card (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET):

Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar – UFC featherweight title bout

Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva

Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia

Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall

 

Preliminary Card (FX, 8 p.m. ET):

Evan Dunham vs. Gleison Tibau

Jay Hieron vs. Tyron Woodley

Bobby Green vs. Jacob Volkmann

Yves Edwards vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg

 

Preliminary Card (Facebook, 7 p.m. ET):

Chico Camus vs. Dustin Kimura

Edwin Figueroa vs. Francisco Rivera

 

 

 

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