UFC 156: Fighters Who Have Much to Prove in Saturday's Slate

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 21:  Rashad Evans walks away after a round against Jon Jones during their light heavyweight title bout for UFC 145 at Philips Arena on April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

All fighters think they have something to prove and use that as motivation, but a select few at UFC 156 are squarely on the hot seat.

Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar headline the fighting exhibition at the Mandalay Bay and rightfully so. Both fighters have earned their place at the top of the event card, while the names below them still have much to prove.

Of all of the players on the main card, here are the three that will have a chip on their shoulder in Las Vegas.

Alistair Overeem

“The Reem” will be in his first fight since being suspended for a banned substance.

A year and a half ago, it was Overeem who was the next in line to face Junior Dos Santos for the heavyweight title. Now he makes his return to the octagon after testing positive for testosterone; ironically, he will face Antonio Silva also known as “Big Foot”.

With a win over Brock Lesnar, no one doubts “The Reem’s” resume, but he needs a current accomplishment to satisfy doubters.

Rashad Evans

Evans has only been defeated twice, but in his most recent bout, he was defeated by former teammate Jon Jones.

Fast forward ten months later and Evans is primed for a rebound win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. He’ll rely on his always-dependable hands and grappling prowess.

If Evans were to lose, the 33-year-old will be in the worst rut in his career. He can reverse the hate with a win over his older opponent.

Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall

Benavidez and McCall both need a win to stay in the flyweight title race and will have to duel it out for that right.

Both men couldn’t outlast Demetrious Johnson last year and now will have to prove themselves for another shot at the title. Benavidez’s UFC chops are in question as well, as he comes from the WEC’s bantamweight division to take on McCall.

Only one fighter will get back on their feet in the octagon. The other will not be happy to be in Las Vegas.


Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report.