The UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar event will take place on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. It’s a stacked card with tons of ranked fighters fighting in very important fights. Aldo will look to defend his featherweight title against the former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans will return to action after an eight month layoff, and former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem will return from a year long suspension. There are big questions heading into this event, so let’s check out the top five below:
Many people have felt that Edgar should have been fighting at featherweight for a long time. He’ll be the most well rounded opponent that Aldo has faced in his career. He’ll have cardio, quickness, wrestling, and is capable of striking with Aldo as long as he uses his range well. The one thing that will be the same is that Edgar will be the smaller fighter. Aldo is a huge featherweight, but it should be noted that he hasn’t fought in over a year. There are rumblings that Aldo has really struggled to cut the weight to make the featherweight limit in the past. He hasn’t really shown any cardio issues except for his UFC 129 performance against Mark Hominick, but there were rumors that he was sick going into that fight which I believe to be true since that’s the only time he has had cardio issues. Edgar gets dropped in almost every fight, but can he survive an onslaught from Aldo if he’s stunned in the fight? Could be one for the ages right here.
There are rumblings that Rashad Evans could move down to the UFC middleweight division to fight Anderson Silva. He’s not going to get another title shot to fight Jon Jones anytime soon. He can probably make middleweight if he wants to do so. Also, UFC President Dana White had said ‘they are waiting on something’ regarding Anderson Silva’s next fight while also implying that Chris Weidman may not be getting the next shot at Silva. He did say that Silva will be defending his title in his next fight and that it would not be a superfight of sorts. I think it’s either Evans or Hector Lombard that may fight Silva next. Both fighters coming up soon and fit the time frame of Silva potentially fighting late spring early summer. Also, let’s not forget that Silva trains with the Nogueira brothers.
Overeem hasn’t fought since dispatching Brock Lesnar at UFC 141, so it’ll be well over a year since he was last in the cage. Cage rust is a real thing, just ask Erik Koch or Chris Leben who both returned from long layoffs to lost their return matches. Silva is a big heavyweight with decent power and will also have a two inch reach advantage. Although Overeem is roughly 30-40 pounds heavier, he’s still the same fighter that has been knocked out seven times in his career(I’m including a submission via punches stoppage). He has also been submitted twice in his career, and we know that Silva is well versed on the ground particularly when he has top position. Silva is successful on roughly half of his takedown attempts while Overeem defends takedowns near a 70% clip. The one x-factor is the suspect chin of Silva. If Overeem finds it(and it’s not hard to), it could be an early night for “Bigfoot”.
Maia has won back-to-back fights since dropping down to the welterweight division. He’ll be taking on Jon Fitch, a former number one contender who’s still considered to be top five in the world by most. Fitch is a grinder who likes to take his opponents down, but that’s exactly where Maia wants to be although he has improved his striking game considerably. Fitch has been submitted once in his career which just happened to be the his first professional MMA fight against Mike Pyle. He has shown superb submission defense in several fights in the UFC over the years, so it’ll be interesting to see how this fight plays out. If Maia gets past Fitch he could be one win away from challenging for the UFC welterweight title.
Both fighters have lost to Johnson previously, and Johnson defended his title successfully against John Dodson at the UFC on FOX 6 event on Saturday. This will be McCall’s first fight since losing to Johnson, and will be the same scenario for Benavidez. The problem is that there are no viable contenders out there for Johnson to face next. Dodson, Benavidez, and McCall are clearly the top five flyweights but Johnson has already beaten them fairly recently. However, none of the losses were absolute blowouts or stoppages, so an impressive win could put either one right back in line to face Johnson.
Stay tuned to ProMMAnow (www.prommanow.com) for more UFC 156 news and coverage this week.