UFC 156: Breaking Down Saturday's Biggest Fights

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2013

Dec. 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Alistair Overeem during a heavyweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While UFC 156’s proximity to Sunday’s Super Bowl has killed much of the hype around the event, MMA fans know just how deep and how exciting this card is shaping up to be.

There are many great fighters scheduled to compete Saturday, and the bouts that will be witnessed at 156 could be the best of the year.

From the UFC Featherweight Championship match between defending champ Jose Aldo and MMA legend Frankie Edgar to the heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, this card is flat-out incredible.

Let’s just hope the action lives up to the expectations.


Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is heralded as one of the innovators of MMA and one of the sport’s legends, but Rashad Evans will once again prove why he is a light heavyweight title contender by beating Little Nog Saturday.

Evans is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, and the veteran will be looking to send a message to the division and its champion that he is far from done fighting for that title.

Nogueira hasn’t fought since beating Tito Ortiz in December of 2011, but it was the two previous losses heading into that fight that exposed the condition of the Brazilian star. Unless Little Nog has been rejuvenated over the last year, Evans will end the fight early in convincing fashion.


Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva

While the championship main event or the light heavyweight battle will draw in plenty of fans, the heavyweight war between polarizing fighter Alistair Overeem and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva will steal the show as the fight of the night.

Silva is coming off a huge win over Travis Browne, but it was the two previous knockout losses coming into that victory—including a bloodbath with now-champion Cain Velasquez—that proves the Brazilian veteran may be in over his head.

Overeem is returning from his nine-month suspension for testing positive to abnormally high testosterone readings (h/t MMA Fighting), and will be looking to continue on his path to winning the heavyweight title in the UFC.

With three other heavyweight title belts to his name, a step in the right direction toward a UFC Heavyweight Championship would cement his legacy as one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history.


Jose Aldo (c) vs. Frankie Edgar

The main event of the evening is shaping up to not only be a great championship bout between fan favorites Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, the stage has been set for one of the best technical matchups MMA fans could ever dream of.

While Edgar is dropping weight classes—something that could be a disadvantage if he is not 100 percent adjusted to the difference in weight—this is one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport and featherweight may be his perfect fit.

As great as Edgar is, Aldo is the defending champion and should be the favorite in this fight.

Aldo has won 14 consecutive fights coming into Saturday’s bout, including six straight title defenses in both WEC and UFC. If Edgar wants to give his career the boost it needs, he will have to beat one of the toughest pound-for-pound fighters in the world.