The word superfight is a fun word that promoters love to toss around.
For inconsistent observers of the UFC and the sport of MMA in general, know this—UFC 156 presents a true superfight in Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar.
Simply put—that’s the cream of the crop right there. Both fighters are deserving of a top 10 pound–for-pound ranking, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the UFC’s pay-per-view this Saturday.
Here is a more in-depth look at every main card fight at UFC 156. Furthermore, here are five things casual fans should be aware of.
If you’re looking for a barroom brawl, you might become disinterested in Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall.
This is a fight for purists. Fans who enjoy the chess-like aspect of fighting will most likely fall in love with this fight.
The reason being is the quickness of both competitors. Both Benavidez and McCall are technically sound and savvy with their techniques.
But because each fighter will weigh in at roughly 125 pounds the day before, it will be like watching two fighters use a tactical approach on fast-forward.
If quickness and accuracy excites you, this should satisfy your need for high-paced action.
Jon Fitch and Demian Maia are relatively big names in the sport of MMA.
Very rarely do you hear fans getting excited for either man fighting because of the style they impose.
“Oh give me a break Jake, you’re such a Fitch hater!” Not true, I don’t hate the guy. It’s just that a wrestler laying on someone and inflicting very little damage for 15 minutes doesn’t exactly peak my interest.
But hey, his tactics seem to work. Though Fitch rarely puts on an exciting match (kudos for that enticing battle with Erick Silva at UFC 153), he’s only lost two fights in 10 years.
Don’t expect Maia to give Fitch his third. Maia is a fantastic jiu-jitsu player with an ever-evolving striking game. But Fitch will overwhelm him with pressure. It’s what Fitch does, and he’ll earn himself yet another decision victory.
You want blood? Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva is the leading candidate to deliver a satisfying result for bloodthirsty fans.
Overeem is a technical kickboxer with unlimited power, while Silva is a strong, physical heavyweight who possesses vicious ground-and-pound.
He also possesses knockout power that sent an injured Travis Browne leaning helplessly against the fence in his last bout.
So what will happen when these two juggernauts mix it up in the Octagon? Well, chances are one of them will fall to the other, and with Overeem’s higher caliber of skills on the feet, he’ll most likely give Silva his third loss in his past four fights.
Will blood ensue? Perhaps. Will a knockout victory occur? Likely. Will this be an entertaining scrap between two heavyweights? Inevitably.
Look, everyone loves the Nogueira brothers. They are MMA royalty.
But with all due respect, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira can’t hang with the elite in the light heavyweight division anymore.
Nogueira’s last win was against Tito Ortiz, but before that win, Nogueira lost to Phil Davis and Ryan Bader, two dominant wrestlers.
What do you think is going to happen when Nogueira steps in to face Rashad Evans? Evans is one of the best wrestlers in MMA. He changes levels faster than anyone at 205 pounds, and he has knockout power as well.
This is a bad matchup for Nogueira, and a dominant Evans victory seems to be the forecast.
The Edgar/Aldo superfight is called such for multiple reasons. Sure, both fighters are among the best in the world, and both fighters were champion for a full calendar year in the UFC in 2011.
But perhaps the biggest reason entails Edgar’s move to the featherweight division.
For years, Edgar dominated the UFC in the lightweight division as an undersized fighter. But after he lost two decisions to Benson Henderson, Edgar decided it was time to drop down to his natural weight class.
The move to featherweight makes sense for Edgar because he’ll no longer have a size disadvantage, but make no mistake about it—he’s running into a buzz saw in Aldo.
Is Edgar up to the challenge? Well, UFC 156 will have to answer that question for us.