UFC 156 Results: Questions Answered and Lessons Learned
UFC 156 is over. Jose Aldo retained his UFC featherweight title against Frankie Edgar, and a lethargic Rashad Evans lost a unanimous decision to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. In addition, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva won in a legendary upset against Alistair Overeem.
There were other fights throughout the entertaining fight card—both on the pay-per-view and preliminary portions—that taught the MMA world important lessons and answered lingering questions that fans and pundits had about fighters.
What were these questions answered and lessons learned?
Read and find out!
Fight IQ Is a Crucial, Underrated Trait
MMA fans and pundits talk about a fighter's speed, strength, agility and fighting skills—but they don't often talk about a fighter's fight IQ. That is, how smart an athlete fights.
Chico Camus didn't fight smart against Dustin Kimura; his fight IQ was severely lacking.
Camus was clearly the better striker and was constantly being threatened with Kimura's numerous submission holds when the fight was on the ground. Despite having inferior grappling, Camus kept bringing the fight to the mat.
This led to Camus' demise in the third round of the fight. He attempted another ill-advised takedown, was reversed and eventually choked out by Kimura.
Camus fought hard, but he didn't fight smart, and that's what cost him the victory.
Bobby Green Is Legit
Jacob Volkmann is a tough, talented, accomplished grappler. Bobby Green battered, out-grappled and submitted him.
Green is an import from the now-defunct Strikeforce organization. As such, his abilities were in question because Strikeforce was always seen as MMA's "B-league." However, with the stunning win over Volkmann, the world now knows that Green is a dangerous man and a gifted fighter.
Tyron Woodley Isn't Just a Boring Wrestler
Tyron Woodley was a steamroller. Jay Hieron was the pavement.
The fight between the two lasted less than a minute. Woodley started the fight with a titanic barrage of strikes that floored Hieron. Woodley kept up the onslaught and eventually starched Hieron.
If it had been Mortal Kombat, Woodley would've been awarded with a flawless victory—it was that good.
Demian Maia Is a True Contender at Welterweight
Jon Fitch made a career of grappling fighters to the point of extreme exhaustion. It became his calling card.
At UFC 156, Brazilian grappling ace Demian Maia turned the tables on Fitch. Maia relentlessly pursued takedowns on Fitch, smothered him, took his back and nearly choked him out on numerous occasions.
Maia was in control for nearly every second of the 15-minute contest.
Fitch is no joke as a fighter or as a grappler. Maia dominating him in such overwhelming fashion shows that he's a man to be feared at 170 pounds.
Overconfidence Is the Greatest Enemy
Alistair Overeem walked to the cage with the smuggest of smirks, but he didn't leave with one.
Throughout his fight with Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, Overeem had his hands low and didn't seem to be taking his opponent all that seriously. He was supposed to win the fight after all, right?
He was Alistair Overeem, former K-1 champ and the claimant to the No.1 contender spot. How could he possibly lose? Like the Knights of Summer in A Song of Ice and Fire, Overeem's behavior throughout the fight suggested that he had this belief that winter would never come for the likes of him.
He was wrong.
In the third round, the pissed off Brazilian marched across the cage and used his fists, the size of small children, to beat on the Dutchman's skull like a drum.
Overeem collapsed to the canvas unconscious, and fans across the world screamed out in surprise. Overeem proved in the first two rounds that he was the more talented fighter—Silva couldn't threaten him at all. But he also proved that, mentally, he still has much to learn. No fighter in the UFC can be taken lightly. You can't beat a fighter like Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva by simply showing up.
Rashad Evans Doesn't Have the Fire Anymore
"Uninspired" is just one of many negatives to describe Rashad Evans' performance against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Evans lacked the will to...do anything. He was content to play patty-cake with Nogueira but not to aggressively attack the Brazilian in any way, shape or form. Evans did try a handful of takedowns, but eventually gave up on that as well.
In addition, Evans' physique was flabbier than usual, and Evans grew tired as the fight dragged on—which is unusual for him.
He lacked any sort of fire or enthusiasm at UFC 156, and it cost him a victory.
Frankie Edgar Needs a New Style
Like I tweeted after the judges announced that they saw the fight in Jose Aldo's favor, when you have a style like Edgar's that's predicated upon winning close decisions, sometimes you're going to lose (even if you really didn't lose).
Edgar should've learned that lesson from his fights with BJ Penn, Gray Maynard and Benson Henderson. UFC 156 showed that he hasn't.
Incessantly seeking out razor-thin decisions has cut Frankie Edgar for a third time in a row. He needs to go back to the drawing board so that he either scores a finish in his next fight or dominates on all scorecards.
Kim Winslow and Smaller Referees Shouldn't Ref a Heavyweight Fight
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva seemingly wasn't done with Alistair Overeem after the thunderous barrage of punches that robbed the Dutchman of consciousness.
Silva ran toward Overeem. The official, Herb Dean, not knowing what Silva was up to, pulled Silva away—and he struggled to do so. Had Silva wanted to keep hitting Overeem, Dean—a big man in his own right—might not have been able to stop Silva.
If a referee of Dean's size would've had difficulty, what about one like Kim Winslow or even Yves Lavigne?
Perhaps athletic commissions should have referees split into weight classes the same way fighters are to avoid this issue.