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UFC 156 Fight Card: Info and Predictions for Aldo vs. Edgar

Andrew SaundersCorrespondent IIJanuary 29, 2013

UFC 156 Fight Card: Info and Predictions for Aldo vs. Edgar

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    At UFC 156, the world's largest combat sports organization returns to pay-per-view for an epic supercard headlined by a featherweight championship bout between champion Jose Aldo and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar,

    In October, these two were scheduled to meet, however the dreaded injury bug took a bite out of Aldo, pushing the main event back four months. On Saturday night, Edgar holds the rare opportunity to become the third multi-division champion in UFC history.

    The main card is littered with important matchups that have title implications. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at one of the most anticipated cards of 2013.

Edwin Figueroa vs. Francisco Rivera

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    How To Watch:

    Facebook at 7:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    Edwin Figueroa stole a victory in his last fight after Herb Dean shockingly took away two points from opponent Alex Caceres back at UFC 145. It was just enough to give Figueroa the split decision victory and a two-fight win streak inside the Octagon.

    Francisco Rivera had a knockout victory over Roland Delorme overturned after a failed post-fight drug test. It was his third knockout in four fights.

    If this fight stays on the feet, and there is little indication that it won't, Rivera has a lot of power and can use it to put Figueroa to sleep. However, Figueroa was able to go the distance with Michael McDonald, so I'm not positive that he will find himself napping at the end of this contest.

    Prediction:

    Rivera defeats Figueroa via unanimous decision.

Chico Camus vs. Dustin Kimura

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    How To Watch:

    Facebook at 7:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    Chico Camus is a striker fighting out of Roufussport, alongside Anthony Pettis and Erik Koch. Although he has four victories by way of knockout, the bantamweight has taken his last four fights to the scorecards.

    Dustin Kimura is an undefeated fighter with six submissions to his credit via five different methods of attack, including the rarely-seen Achilles lock.

    This is a battle of styles that will ultimately be dictated by whoever can control the fight's location. Considering that Kimura has a connection to the Gracie family, I'm leaning slightly in his direction.

    Prediction:

    Kimura defeats Camus by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:29 of the second round.

Yves Edwards vs. Issac Vallie-Flagg

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    How to Watch:

    FX at 8:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    Yves Edwards comes into this fight less than two months after picking up a knockout victory against Jeremy Stephens in December. The veteran looks for his fifth UFC win since returning to the organization in 2010.

    Across the cage from him is Issac Vallie-Flagg, a Strikeforce import who upset Gesias Cavalcante via split decision in his final appearance with that company. Aside from that contest, there are no notable wins to his credit.

    Edwards has a considerable experience advantage in this fight, although Vallie-Flagg has the always-brilliant Greg Jackson in his corner. I feel that there is so much tape on Edwards that Vallie-Flagg enters this contest with an excellent gameplan and scores the upset.

    Prediction: 

    Vallie-Flagg defeats Edwards via TKO at 4:22 of the third round.

Jacob Volkmann vs. Bobby Green

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    How to Watch:

    FX at 8:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    Jacob Volkmann is a grinder at heart, although he seemingly loved the adoration shown from fans that loved his arm-triangle victory over Shane Roller in October. Currently sitting with a 6-1 record in the UFC lightweight division, Volkmann is hoping to rebuild the momentum he had at the beginning of 2012.

    Bobby Green is a lightweight who is no stranger to momentum. Winning his final four fights under the Strikeforce banner, he makes his UFC debut on Saturday night.

    There is no scenario where I see a blue belt like Green getting his way out of the tough positions that Volkmann will put him in. This fight will not be pretty, but it will certainly be decisive.

    Prediction:

    Volkmann defeats Green via unanimous decision.

Tyron Woodley vs. Jay Hieron

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    How to Watch:

    FX at 8:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    Both Woodley and Hieron came up just short in snagging welterweight gold outside of the UFC. Woodley was finished by a very game Nate Marquardt while looking to wrestle away the Strikeforce championship.

    Meanwhile, Hieron was robbed of a decision victory over Bellator champion Ben Askren in 2011.

    Woodley has a style that is very similar to Askren, and for that reason, I think Hieron will be able to implement the same gameplan he used before.

    This time, however, the judges will get it right.

    Prediction:

    Hieron defeats Woodley via unanimous decision.

Gleison Tibau vs. Evan Dunham

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    How to Watch:

    FX at 8:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    Feel free to check out the Head-to-Toe Breakdown on this fight for an in-depth analysis of the action.

    Evan Dunham is a grappling wizard who can either submit or control nearly any opponent once the fight hits the ground. However, the Xtreme Couture likes to engage in fun fights and has won Fight of the Night in three of his last five contests.

    Gleison Tibau has some of the best wrestling at 155 pounds. He leads the division in total takedowns and leads the entire UFC in takedown defense.

    Dunham has better striking in this fight and likes to threaten with submissions against those who look to take him down. This is his fight to lose.

    Prediction:

    Dunham defeats Tibau via unanimous decision.

Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall

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    How to Watch:

    Pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    Flyweights kick off the main card when Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall square off on Saturday night.

    Benavidez was heavily favored to win the four-man flyweight tournament, although he was outworked by Demetrious Johnson in the tournament final. 

    Like Benavidez, "Uncle Creepy" has not competed since his losing to the reigning champion. McCall was scheduled to face John Moraga in August, but was forced from the contest due to injury.

    Benavidez has a better grappling pedigree and will have a power advantage in the striking. It's difficult to picture a scenario where McCall has the upper hand in this fight.

    Prediction:

    Benavidez defeats McCall via unanimous decision.

Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia

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    How to Watch:

    Pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    Jon Fitch has been looking for another title fight since coming up short against Georges St-Pierre in 2008. Currently coming off of a thrilling win against Erick Silva, Fitch knows that a victory over a former title challenger would have a major payoff.

    Demian Maia has been a wrecking machine since moving to 170 pounds. His intense pressure caused an abdominal strain to judo player Dong Hyun Kim, and the Brazilian earned a dominant submission win over Rick Story at UFC 153.

    Fitch's game is based on heavy pressure and a stifling top game. That is a great way to defeat nearly any fighter at 170 pounds, however Demian Maia is one of the best grapplers on the planet. If this fight touches the ground, I don't see Fitch surviving.

    Prediction: 

    Maia defeats Fitch via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:42 of the first round.

Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva

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    How to Watch:

    Pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    Alistair Overeem makes his first UFC appearance in 14 months when he takes on Antonio Silva in what would have been a semi-final fight of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. Ultimately, Overeem left Strikeforce and Silva was knocked out by eventual tournament winner Daniel Cormier.

    There is bad blood in this fight, as Silva reported left the Blackzilian's camp in Florida when Overeem joined the team. 

    Overeem, a former K-1 heavyweight champion, has a considerable striking advantage, which has proved to be the foil of Silva in bouts against Cormier, Mike Kyle and Cain Velasquez. This fight will end violently and early unless Silva can successfully pull guard.

    Prediction: 

    Overeem defeats Silva via TKO at 3:15 in round one.

Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

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    How to Watch:

    Pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    In the co-main event of UFC 156, former champion Rashad Evans returns in hopes of picking up a win over PRIDE legend Antonio "Lil Nog" Nogueira.

    The lighter twin brother of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has crisp boxing that hinges upon excellent counter-punching. In addition, the Brazilian is a third degree black belt who has a submission victory over Dan Henderson to his credit.

    In recent years, Nogueira has had trouble with wrestling-intensive fighters Ryan Bader and Phil Davis, as well as Jason Brilz. He has tremendous jiu-jitsu, but has not shown enough of a bottom game to suggest that he could submit Rashad Evans without "Suga" making some serious mistakes.

    Prediction:

    Evans defeats Nogueira via TKO (ground and pound) at 2:45 of round two.

Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar

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    How to Watch:

    Pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m. ET

    Preview:

    Possessing creative and explosive striking, Jose Also is the No. 4 ranked pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. The Brazilian out of Nova Uniao has only one loss in 22 bouts as a professional and holds wins over Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, Kenny Florian and Chad Mendes to his credit.

    Frankie Edgar is the former UFC lightweight champion who defied the odds by upsetting B.J. Penn not once, but twice in 2010. The next year, Edgar showed the world his tremendous heart by overcoming the tremendous challenge of Gray Maynard.

    This is a tough fight to predict. Frankie's combinations are outstanding, although no one has bested Jose Aldo on the feet. And despite the excellent takedown defense of the champion, Edgar's wrestling is undoubtedly superior.

    The New Jersery native has more experience going the distance in title fights, and has arguably competed against tougher competition throughout his career.

    Depending on how you scored his UFC 150 fight against Benson Henderson, Edgar also does not have a single unavenged loss in his career.

    Similar to what fan's witnessed with Demetrious Johnson last weekend, Frankie is the type of fighter who can absorb a lot of damage early on and then rally to a point where he is stronger before taking the fight home. I smell a massive upset here.

    Advantage:

    Edgar defeats Aldo via unanimous decision.

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