(“The name’s Frankie. I fight dudes twice.” Photo via MMAFighting)
Tonight at UFC 156 in Las Vegas, Jose Aldo goes for his fourth-consecutive UFC featherweight title defense, while former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar attempts to become the third fighter in UFC history to pick up a belt in two different weight classes. And that’s just the cherry on top of a stacked Super Bowl Eve card, which is loaded with big names and high stakes from start to finish.
Also on the menu: Alistair Overeem returns from suspension to clinch his heavyweight title shot with a win over Antonio Silva, while a victory for Rashad Evans over Lil’ Nog could set him up for a middleweight title fight against Anderson Silva for some reason. Plus, Jon Fitch and Demian Maia look to continue their recent surges in the welterweight division, while Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall square off at flyweight because honestly, who else are those guys going to fight?
Round-by-round results from the Aldo vs. Edgar pay-per-view card will be stacking up after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, courtesy of George “Bigfoot” Shunick. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please toss your own thoughts into the comments section.
OK, Potato Nation, welcome to the live chat. I’m not sure who came up with my nickname, but rest assured, I am more eloquent than cro-magnum Brazilians with gigantism. We’ve seen some impressive action thus far, but it should pale for what is about to come. (Side note: have we seen impressive fights so far? I’ve been on a road trip to North Carolina for most of the day, so I haven’t actually seen any of the fights. I’ll just assume they went well.) Fitch-Maia. Silva-’Reem. Evans-Lil Nog. Edgar-Aldo. Let me repeat that one. Edgar-Aldo. This is a legitimate super fight, folks. Hopefully my shitty Hilton internet service holds up so I can deliver to you, dear reader, a play by play worthy of the magnitude tonight holds.
OK, checked the results. The fights seem like they’ve been pretty good. I feel better about my baseless assumption now. Also, some predictions: Benavidez over McCall by decision, Fitch over Maia by decision or (gasp) late TKO, Overeem over Bigfoot by TKO, Evans by decision over Nogueira, and… Edgar over Aldo by decision. I think Jose will wear down over the course of the fight, and Edgar will take the last three rounds. Of course, being a Frankie Edgar fight with historically poor officials, there’s no guarantee the decision rendered will be just. We’ll see.
RIPPING IT INTO PIECES. UFC 156 has begun. Also, I hate Stemm. It comes with the territory, I guess. And by “it,” I mean shitty nu metal.
Ian McCall vs. Joseph Benavidez
If facial hair had any impact on the outcome of the fight, not only would Ian McCall absolutely destroy Joe Benavidez tonight but he would sit atop any pound-for-pound list this sport has. (Tiki Ghosn would be ranked dead last.) Unfortunately for him, that’s not how things work. Still, he’s an excellent fighter. I think Benavidez is better, but this – like all the flyweight fights – should be a barn-burner.
Mazzagatti reffing this. Gets booed. Fighters touch gloves… aaaaaaaand my (PAID FOR) stream craps out. Well, this sucks. The action picks up with 3:30 left in the fight. McCall lands a hard combo, but Benavidez hurts him with a counter! High kick from Joe blocked. McCall getting his feet under him. Accidental low blow by Benavidez. Fight resumes, Benavidez still in control. Nice left right hook by McCall, who is slowly finding his range. Low kick Benavidez. McCall tags Benavidez with a right. Benavidez is cut. Lands a strong body kick. Round ends, 10-9 Benavidez, as far as I can tell.
Apparently a headbutt was what caused Beanvidez’ cut. Second round begins, Benavidez takes the center. McCall tries to catch a kick but doesn’t get it. Jab by Benavidez, then a body shot. High kick from McCall blocked. They exchange with nothing of significance landing. Benavidez missing overhand rights. Body kick by McCall. Benavidez really looking for the overhand right, but so far hasn’t hit anything with it. Ducks under a big hook from McCall, takes the center of the Octagon. Uppercut by Benavidez, now working against the fence. They break. Beanvidez is throwing hard punches but not really landing anything. McCall, however, hasn’t landed much either. Benavidez counters a low kick. Nice right jab by McCall. Benavidez goes to the body. Benavidez slips, McCall tries to take his back, but Benavidez gets half-guard. Now McCall has his back! Benavidez scrambles, but McCall still maintains control, working ground and pound now. Benavidez stands, McCall lands a knee from a body clinch. Round ends, 10-9 McCall.
McCall’s corner tells him that Benavidez has nothing off his back. They touch gloves. Big right hand by Benavidez! Doesn’t knock McCall down, but he felt it. Benavidez stuffs McCall’s shot, and lands an elbow. They separate. Body kick from Benavidez. Leg kick drops McCall, who was going for a kick of his own. McCall back up, Benavidez looks for a superman punch and misses. Nice right hook from McCall. Benavidez getting sloppy again, but lands a short right. Nice body kick by Benavidez, followed by a left. McCall perfectly times a takedown and almost passes to side control, but Benavidez stands up. Big body kick from Benavidez. They exchange low kicks. McCall lands another kick, but Benavidez returns fire with a combination. Low kick from Benavidez, followed by a combination. McCall lands a right, but misses a takedown. They exchange in the center of the octagon. Another body kick from Benavidez, who stuffs another takedown. The round ends, 10-9 Benavidez. Time to go to the judges…
Aaaaaand, it’s unanimous. 29-28 on all three scorecards for Benavidez. The right call. McCall collapses in despair, and Benavidez reaffirms his title intentions to the crowd. Goldberg mentions that the “stars” are in attendance tonight, and then proceeds to mention the tight end of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Most people in Jacksonville don’t know who the Jaguars tight end is. Just saying.
Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia
Stoked for this fight. Hoping for a ground war. Better not get a stand up farce. Either’s in the cards. Speaking emphatically. Deal. I like Demian Maia, but coming out to Linkin Park? -100, sir. Conversely, Jon Fitch coming out to Johnny Cash? +100. Also, Fitch’s walkout shirt of a man fighting a bear? +100. Jon Fitch is winning the points game, people. Dominating it. Time to step your games up.
Maia immediately shoots. He gets it. Transitions to the back. Fitch stands, and Maia is playing the role of backpack. Maia punching, now going for an RNC. Works the body, goes back for a choke. Fitch defending, elbows Maia’s thigh. Maia going for the choke, but Fitch slowly but surely defends himself. Maia leaves the back, tries to drag Fitch to the ground. He does, but Fitch stands again. They’re clinching against the fence, and Fitch grabs the fence to stop a takedown. He goes down, and Maia throws knees to Fitch’s thigh. Maia throwing strikes from the back as Fitch is kneeling. Maia works the body as the round ends. 10-9, arguably 10-8, Maia.
Fitch lands a kick. Then a low kick. Then another. Maia with a right. Fitch returns fire. Maia gets a single, and tries to pass to side control. Fitch stands, however. Counter right by Fitch, but Maia clinches and takes Fitch down. He has one hook on Fitch’s back. Maia gets the other hook in. Maia working for a choke, but Fitch is still defending. Maia working ground and pound. Maia’s got the choke! Fitch somehow survives. Maia still working ground and pound. Dominant performance on the ground from Maia thus far. He’s been utilizing the body triangle to remain on Fitch’s back since he took him down. Fitch continues to defend, but he has no answer for Maia’s positional control. Round ends, again, 10-9 or 10-8 Maia.
Crazy Bob Cook tells Fitch, in no uncertain terms, he needs to finish Maia on the feet. Fitch throws a kick, Maia clinches and pushes Fitch into the fence. Fitch defending the takedown as best he can. Now they’re clinched against the fence. Fitch goes down to one knee, and Maia takes his back almost instantly. Fitch finally gets out, but Maia immediately shoots. Fitch can’t get Maia off him, but Fitch goes for a guillotine. Maia drops to half guard, Fitch with a big elbow. Fitch works the body, but Maia stands and pushes Fitch into the fence. Fitch escapes, but Maia is relentless. He gets another takedown. This is exceptional. Maia ends the round in mount. His round and a clean sweep. Did not see this one coming. Maia looks absolutely dominant at 170.
Maia wins 30-27 on all scorecards. Some people in the crowd boo, because some people in the crowd are xenophobic douchebags.
Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva
Two things can happen here; Overeem will knockout Bigfoot, or Bigfoot will drag The Reem down and batter him into oblivion. The former is much more likely, but let’s not forget that Overeem is historically a bit of a front-runner. Still, much of that was before “horse meat” entered his life. Should be violent.
Props to Joe Rogan to mentioning Overeem’s physique change has “[raised] a lot of eyebrows.” Goldberg immediately changes the subject. Overeem looks pretty confident standing across the ring. Fight starts, no glove touch. (Duh.) Silva misses a low kick. Jab by Overeem. Left to the body, and they clinch against the cage. They break. Jab by Overeem. Left to the body by Overeem and they clinch again. Overeem measuring Bigfoot for a knee. Another right hand from Overeem followed by a knee. Bigfoot works some short body punches from the fence. Silva misses a kick, tries to clinch, but Overeem turns him around effortlessly. Overeem working some knees, but none are seriously hurting Bigfoot. Big knee from Overeem following a right. Overeem’s hands are at his waist. Big low kick from Overeem. Silva returns fire. Overeem tosses Silva around in the clinch. Now working knees to the thighs. Knee to the body from Overeem. Overeem slips and counters with an uppercut. Round ends, 10-9 Reem.
Bigfoot’s coaches sound way too optimistic heading into the second. Nice leg kick from Silva, but good counter jab from Overeem. They trade rights and Overeem tosses Silva to the ground. Herb Dean implores them to work 10 seconds after Overeem lands a takedown. Patience, Herb. Bigfoot lands serious elbows from the bottom in side control. Overeem now in Bigfoot’s open guard. Overeem punishing Silva now. Serious shots from the top that echo throughout the octagon. Bigfoot’s guard fails to threaten Overeem, who continues to land big shots to the body. More big shots, now Overeem passes to half guard. Back to full, Overeem stands. Herb Dean stands them up. Overeem misses an overhand. Big right by Silva! Overeem is undeterred. They trade hard jabs at the end. 10-9 Overeem.
Big knee from Overeem. Bigfoot LANDS! He’s swarming him!!! Overeem is HURT! HE’S OUT!!!! OVEREEM IS OUT!! WOW!!!!!!!
Bigfoot ran up to a downed Overeem and shouted something at him. It all started from a right hand when Overeem tried to slip. Bigfoot followed with a head kick, then a big uppercut, then unloaded with a monster combination. Wow. Frontrunner for comeback of the year. Wow.
Wow. So, if we’ve learned anything, I guess it’s this; you can put on all the muscle you want, but if you’ve got the chin of a light-heavyweight, well, you’re stuck with that. Wonder what’s going to happen to the heavyweight title picture if Daniel Cormier gets past Frank Mir and refuses to fight Cain.
Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira
Um, yeah, so this fight is happening. Not really a lot to say about this; it’s designed to put Evans over for either another shot at Jones or a shot at Anderson Silva. He’ll probably look pretty good, because he’s better in all facets of MMA – save jiu-jitsu – than Nogueira. And, frankly, Lil Nog isn’t as good on the ground as his big brother. Unless he manages to hurt Evans and quickly follow up on the ground, I don’t see him taking this.
Evans with a very wide stance. Lands a body kick. Staying just out of range of Nogueira. Faking shots. There’s little action and the croud is getting impatient. Evans throws a high kick that’s blocked. Nog lands a jab. Another jab. Then a straight left. Nogueira seems to be the superior boxer thus far. Another strong jab from Nog. Now a left. Rashad lands a big right hand. Staggers Nogueira, but nothing more. Evans lands a takedown, and punches Nogueira as the latter stands. They break. They exchange glancing crosses. Rashad lands a right. Goes for a head kick, to no avail. Close round. 10-9 Rashad, but I wouldn’t complain about a 10-10.
Jab from Nogueira. A left misses. Rashad lands a solid inside leg kick. Lands a right after a level change. Nogueira rushes in and lands a couple shots. Then a left. Rashad lands a right. Now an inside leg kick. Nogueira lands a straight left and avoids Evans’ rush. Denies Evans a takedown. Nogueira lands another combination. Now a left to the body. Another. Nogueira is beginning to take control, although it’s not overt. He’s clearly the aggressor though. Lands another left. Rashad lands a combination, punctuated by a strong right. Nogueira lands a body kick, and then a jab. Another jab, but Evans almost takes Nogueira down. Nog escapes and lands a combination. Rashad lands a big uppercut. Body kick from Nog, followed by a combination as Evans circles. Evans misses a cross. Evans goes for a high kick, but it’s blocked. Round ends, 10-9 Nogueira.
Right to body by Evans. Nogueira throws a combination. Evans returns. Neither lands much. Jab from Nog. Lunging right from Evans lands. But thus far, not a terribly eventful fight. Jab from Nogueira again. It seems to be the only consistent offense in this fight. Nogueira accidentally takes a finger to the eye and the fight is halted. Yves Lavigne calls for the doctor. The doctor asks him if he can continue, Nog obviously says yes. Great job, doc. Fight resumes, Nog lands a solid left. Rashad just seems bewildered right now. He shoots for a takedown, but it’s telegraphed. Nogueira lands another jab. Nogueira lands more lefts. Rashad lands a jab, but Nogueira responds. Evans can’t land a takedown because he can’t get close enough to Nogueira before he shoots. Nogueira still landing more than Rashad. Evans lands a solid right, and they trade from the clinch until the bell. 10-9 Nogueira, but really, no one won this one.
29-28 across the board for Nogueira. The right call, which at least makes this fight slightly less unbearable. OK, let’s get to Edgar-Aldo already…
Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo
This fight is actually happening, Potato Nation. I’m not going to say anything else. Just enjoy the moment.
Jose Aldo is 26. That never ceases to astound me. FIGHT TIME. They touch gloves. Edgar with a low kick. Edgar moving well. Aldo lands a body kick, but Edgar was circling away. Edgar circling towards Aldo’s right leg though. Edgar lands an inside leg kick. Aldo having trouble finding Edgar, but his defense is solid as well. Uppercut from Aldo, but Edgar returns fire. Nice jab from Aldo. Another one. Very strong. Aldo is beginning to find his timing. He coutners a low kick with a cross. Another one. Aldo is taking charge. Jab glances Edgar. Edgar misses a low kick. Another jab from Aldo. Nice right from Edgar. Another jab from Aldo. Edgar having trouble closing the distance. Edgar lands a right backing up. They exchange jabs. Edgar’s nose is bloodied. Another jab from Aldo. More punches as he moves backwards. BIG leg kick from Aldo. Edgar lands a cross. Another leg kick. Jesus those sound painful. Round ends, 10-9 Aldo.
Edgar lands, but his leg is already swollen. Nice right from Aldo, thena jab. Frankie returns fire with a right. Jab from Aldo misses. Edgar is beginning to adjust to Aldo’s jab. Frankie lands a leg kick. Shoots for a half hearted single. Body kick Edgar. They exchange in the center. Nice jab from Aldo, who stuffs another takedown. BIG leg kick staggers Edgar. Edgar fires back with a right. Another leg kick, which takes out Edgar’s leg. Both fighters land. Another leg kick. Aldo has figured out a weakness and he’s exploiting it. Nice right from Edgar. Edgar lands a combination and avoids a flying knee, pushing Aldo into the fence. They separate. Aldo lands a kick, but Edgar catches it, lands a right and takes him down. Aldo stands up though. Edgar lands a jab. Aldo is beginning to tire. Frankie keeps up the pressure and lands a right. Two jabs from Aldo. Aldo misses a spinning kick and Edgar lands a hook. Round ends, 10-9 Aldo, but Edgar has the momentum.
Edgar eats a kick, takes Aldo down, but Aldo pops right back up. Edgar with a low kick. Nice right by Aldo. Edgar backing Aldo up though. Misses an overhand right. A right from Aldo is blocked. They exchange. Front kick from Aldo barely misses knocking Edgar out. Edgar’s nose may be broken, though. Aldo lands a counter hook. They size each other up, and Edgar lands a kick to the body. Aldo with a jab. Aldo using his circling to avoid Edgar’s rushes. Leg kick from Edgar. Another. Another. Left hook from Aldo. Nice combo from Edgar, who catches a kick and answers with his own. Nice uppercut from Edgar. Big right hand from Edgar. Leg kick from Aldo misses. Aldo tosses Edgar’s takedown attempt off. Nice right hand from Frankie. Inside leg kick from Edgar. Nice kick from Edgar. Round ends… 10-9 Edgar?
Can Edgar maintain this momentum? Nice right from Edgar. Inside leg kick from Edgar. Nice right. Another leg kick from Edgar. Inside leg kick from Edgar. Spinning back kick from Aldo lands. Aldo lands a leg kick, but eats a couple punches. High kick from Edgar is blocked. Edgar backing Aldo down. Edgar misses a spinning back kick of his own. Edgar’s movemnt is flustering Aldo. Goes for a takedown, fails, but lands punches on the separation. Edgar lands an uppercut. Aldo lands a jab. Left hook from both fighters. Leg kick from Edgar. Combination from Edgar. Edgar SLAMS Aldo down, but Aldo stands. Now they clinch against the fence, Edgar kneeing Aldo, who is trying to break Edgar’s grip. They break. Leg kick Edgar. Combination from Edgar. Fakes a takedown and throw s a combination. Lands a cross. Round ends, 10-9 Edgar.
Round starts. Both circle. Edgar backs him up with jabs, but none land. Low kick Edgar. Both land as Edgar jumps in. Aldo barely misses a flying knee. Lands a jab though. Another nice jab. Nice right hand from Edgar. Spinning back kick is blocked by Aldo. Nice jab from Edgar, but Aldo lands a counter left. Edgar doesn’t get a takedown, but lands a knee. Both men miss. Left hook from Edgar. Low kick Edgar. Another one. Nice right from Aldo. Frankie pressuring now, lands a nice knee. Lands a good combination. A jab. Throws a high kick. Another inside leg kick. They exchange crosses. Left hook Edgar. Good combo from Edgar. Edgar with ANOTHER combo. Nice hook. Almost lands a headkick. Both men exchange crosses. Aldo lands a crazy superman punch off the fence, but it’s too little too late for the round. 10-9 Edgar.
Oh great, another Frankie Edgar title fight, another close decision. I had Aldo winning the first two, Edgar winning the last two, and the third round is… close. I gave it to Frankie, but I don’t feel confident in it. Anyway, we go to the judges…
49-46, 49-46, 48-47, all for Aldo. I can see the 48-47. But 49-46? God, I hate MMA judges. Anyway, Jose Aldo says stuff, including that he’s not moving to lightweight just yet. Edgar says other stuff, and congratulates Aldo. Alright, that’s the end of things. Overall, a good, and surprising, night of fights. Thanks for joining, Potato Nation.
Preliminary card results:
- Evan Dunham def. Gleison Tibau via split-decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29)
- Tyron Woodley def. Jay Hieron via KO, 0:36 of round 1
- Bobby Green def. Jacob Volkmann via submission (rear-naked choke), 4:25 of round 3
- Isaac Vallie-Flagg def. Yves Edwards via split-decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29)
- Dustin Kimura def. Chico Camus via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:50 of round 3
- Francisco Rivera def. Edwin Figueroa via TKO, 4:20 of round 2