UFC 156 Results: 12 Memorable Moments from Saturday's Aldo vs. Edgar Card
Although betting odds made UFC 156 look like one of the more one-sided main cards in ages, the underdogs came out swinging on Saturday.
From the preliminary bouts all the way to the main event, just about every fight had its memorable moments, with several former Strikeforce fighters putting their stamp on the UFC in emphatic fashion.
And while Bobby Green, Tyron Woodley, Isaac Vallie-Flagg and Antonio Silva all walked away with big wins, even the overmatched Frankie Edgar was admirable in defeat, taking the fight to featherweight champion Jose Aldo in his usual "comeback" style.
It's been a while since a UFC card was that surprising, and it serves as a brilliant reminder of why MMA is such an unpredictable sport. Read along as we recap a dozen of the most memorable moments to come out of UFC 156 from Las Vegas.
Jose Aldo Retains Title by Decision, Frankie Edgar Hits 0-3 Losing Streak
Poor Frankie Edgar.
Try as he might, he just can't beat the best in the world. But even when he's outsized and/or out-gunned, he always comes close enough to make it exciting.
That's why his battle against featherweight champion Jose Aldo will be one of the most memorable yet, as "The Answer" rallied back late into the fight to make "Scarface" sweat just a little bit.
Aldo threw everything he had at Edgar, too, dishing out a mean diet of leg kicks, head kicks, heavy punches and brutal knees throughout all five rounds of the fight.
But even though Edgar lost a unanimous decision that was closer than the scorecards indicated, he still deserves a ton of credit for such a gusty effort.
Unfortunately, there's no telling where it leaves Edgar, who finds himself in limbo between featherweight and lightweight—after all, he's 0-3 in his last three fights and 3-3-1 in title bouts.
Jose Aldo Nearly Takes Frankie Edgar's Head Off in Round 3
Frankie Edgar is the Terminator.
At least, that's the only plausible explanation for how he can eat shots like the head kick Aldo hit him with shortly into the third round.
It sounded like a gunshot and echoed throughout Mandalay Bay with a sickening crack, but Edgar somehow doggedly pressed forward while eating the kick.
As a grand understatement, The Answer has a hell of a chin.
Anthony Pettis Calls Out Jose Aldo, Says He'll Drop to 145 Pounds
During the UFC 156 press conference, there was a lot of laughter in the air as Antonio Silva pointedly ripped into Alistair Overeem, Rashad Evans and the rest of the Blackzilians.
But that laughter turned into an excited murmur as Dana White revealed that he got a text message from a very unlikely person.
According to White (and the UFC's official Twitter account), the No. 1 lightweight title contender had volunteered to drop down to 145 pounds and face Jose Aldo for the featherweight belt.
Insane bravado? Or ambitious planning?
Such a move would be interesting for the 145-pound division, especially considering the dominant display Pettis showed against Donald Cerrone at UFC on Fox 6. If "Showtime" could beat Aldo at his own game, the prospect of a "champion vs. champion" superfight is clearly there.
Rashad Evans Gets Out-Hustled in Decision Loss to Little Nog
Are the Blackzilians cursed? Because somehow, even Rashad Evans found himself the victim of a harsh loss in Sin City, although he at least made it to the judges' scorecards intact.
Still, that's probably little comfort to "Suga" right now, as he finds himself with back-to-back losses for the first time in his 21-fight MMA career.
Although he danced around the cage while uncorking big punches and takedown attempts, Little Nog won handily with disciplined boxing, solid takedown defense and a better game plan—notching one more win for Brazil that contributed to a clean sweep.
That was just the second major loss of the night for the Blackzilians supercamp, and most damagingly, both of their two most prominent stars were soundly beaten by massive underdogs.
Bigfoot Silva Gets His Revenge, KOs Alistair Overeem in Round 3
Believe it or not, Antonio Silva is the new lineal MMA heavyweight champion.
Yeah, just wrap your head around that for a minute.
In a shocking upset that flew in the face of logic, data and several predictions from the MMA community, Bigfoot fought back from being pummeled on his back and hit a monster series of KO shot against Overeem.
Once he found himself on the defensive, "The Demolition Man" just couldn't weather the storm, dropping to the mat with a crash as referee Herb Dean barely held back a still-screaming Silva.
For the former Blackzilian, the chance to defeat Overeem and stick it to his former teammates must've been immensely satisfying.
Moreover, there couldn't have been a better possible win for Silva, as this arguably throws him into the title hunt and towards a possible rematch with now-heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
Demian Maia 'Fitches' Jon Fitch with Jiu-Jitsu
So much for Jon Fitch—he never stood a chance against Demian Maia.
Even though the American Kickoxing Academy ace has survived brawls against former champions like Georges St-Pierre and B.J. Penn, he didn't have enough to overcome Maia's sticky grappling.
Shockingly, Fitch was never really in the fight to begin with, and barring a brief submission attempt late in Round 2, the story of the match was all about Maia.
Sinking in close rear-naked chokes several times from rare mount, the Brazilian ground Fitch over like a cheap steak, nearly becoming the first man in years to submit the perennial contender.
So, what's next for Maia as he climbs the welterweight ranks?
Well, a title shot against the winner of Georges St-Pierre Against Nick Diaz seems to fit the bill if Johny Hendricks loses at UFC 158.
Ian McCall Goes 'Commando' in Defeat to Joseph Benavidez
It probably wasn't the best idea, but Ian McCall showed plenty of smiles by taunting the heavy-handed Joseph Benavidez in their main card clash.
But despite eating several hard hooks and thudding leg kicks, all the guts in the world didn't compensate for power.
Benavidez controlled the action for most of the 15 minutes, notably dropping a still-grinning McCall in the third round during a flurry that effectively helped seal the decision win.
McCall's UFC career is still lacking a win, but in the promotion's relatively small flyweight division, it's hard to imagine that elite talent like himself will be let go on his two-fight slide.
UFC and FX Race Against the Clock on the Preliminary Card
Not many people realized this until it was too late, but Gleison Tibau and Evan Dunham barely had enough time to finish on the TV broadcast.
Although the prelims on FX had the benefit of Bobby Green stopping Jacob Volkmann early and Tyron Woodley smashing Jay Hieron in 36 seconds, the production team cut things too close by inserting Dustin Kimura vs. Chico Camus on the broadcast.
As a result, Tibau vs. Dunham went to a decision and ran out the broadcast with less than a minute to spare, meaning that fans watching on FX didn't get to see the judges' decision.
That's an extremely questionable hiccup from the TV time crunch, but fortunately, the match ended just in time for fans to see Dunham win the fight via split decision.
Tryon Woodley Mauls Jay Hieron in 36 Seconds Flat
Poor Jay Hieron never stood a chance.
Right from the opening bell, former Strikeforce title contender Tyron Woodley blitzed off the cage fence like a bat out of hell, immediately dropping Hieron with a whirlwind of punches.
Hieron simply had no answer, briefly turning to his stomach to turtle up before Woodly finished him with vicious punches.
After 36 seconds of extreme violence, Woodley followed up in his post-fight interview with a simple declaration.
"This year is mine."
Maybe there's something to these Strikeforce fighters after all, huh?
Referee Kim Winslow Ruins Round 2 of Volkmann vs. Green
In the coming year of bad referee calls in MMA, there won't be many worse than what referee Kim Winslow did to Bobby Green.
During a key moment of opportunity for Green, the Strikeforce veteran managed to get on top of world-class grappler Volkmann and rain down some heavy shots and elbows.
Fortunately, that wasn't quite enough for Winslow.
Inexplicably, she stood up both fighters as Green was actively working for strikes, drawing huge boos from Joe Rogan, the Las Vegas crowd and MMA media alike.
Winslow is notable as one of the most inconsistent officials in the sport, but how could a professional MMA referee make call so bad that everyone recognized the error?
Bobby Green Defeats Jacob Volkmann (and Kim Winslow) in His UFC Debut
But even with Winslow's interference—and a subsequent groin shot from Volkmann—the match eventually turned in Green's favor.
Pulling off a stunning upset against one of the most suffocating wrestlers in the lightweight division, Green notched a reversal in the third round, turning out of a rear mount and finishing Volkmann from the top with punches.
Not a bad showing at all for the former Strikeforce fighter.
Most importantly, though, it saved MMA fans from having to deal with any post-fight antics from the politically charged and socially awkward Volkmann.
Dustin Kimura Finally Snares Chico Camus Via Rear-Naked Choke
Chico Camus survived several close submission attempts from the undefeated Dustin Kimura, including a close armbar/triangle attempt that also ended the fight.
But eventually, Kimura got his man.
It took three rounds, but eventually, Camus fell to a rear-naked choke after practically serving up his neck on a failed takedown attempt.
That moves Kimura to an impressive 10-0 in his MMA career and, hopefully, into a higher-profile match further down the line in the UFC featherweight division.
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