UFC 156 was one of the most noteworthy mixed martial arts events in a long time. Some results were expected, others were surprising, but the entire card proved to be nothing less than compelling.
One of the great things about this card is the way it will help shape everything that UFC does the rest of the year. So many fights on this show will be used to set up the next step for title contenders and big matches.
Going over the results from UFC 156, here are the biggest winners from a memorable pay-per-view.
Jose Aldo (def. Frankie Edgar to retain UFC featherweight title)
Aldo continues to show the world why he is the most revered featherweight fighter in the world and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Putting his title on the line against Frankie Edgar, one of the best lightweight fighters in the sport, could have turned out badly for Aldo. Edgar doesn't have knockout power, but he is accustomed to handling himself against bigger fighters.
Dropping down in weight could have been a gift for Edgar. Instead, Aldo did a remarkable job of standing toe-to-toe with Edgar for all five rounds. It was an incredibly close fight, one that could warrant a rematch, but Aldo came out of with his title.
Frankie Edgar (lost to Jose Aldo)
No one likes to think of moral victories in sports, but Edgar continues to earn the respect of anyone and everyone who watches him. He took a fight against Aldo that he didn't have to, in a weight class that he has never fought at, and nearly walked away with a championship.
In fact, there is a real argument to be made that Edgar did win the fight. The rounds were so close, especially the fifth, that trying to find any real separation between the two is almost impossible.
Edgar will have his choice of fights next, either another bout at featherweight or a return to lightweight. Wherever he goes, you can be assured that he is going to put every drop of sweat and every ounce of energy he has into getting back on the right track.
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (def. Alistair Overeem via KO)
Alistair Overeem's return was supposed to be about him earning his way back into the heavyweight title picture after being suspended for a failed drug test last year.
Instead, Overeem got a harsh taste of the cruel reality that only mixed martial arts can provide. Antonio Silva provided all the fireworks, especially in the third round, when he dropped Overeem with a flurry of punches.
UFC may have lost a lot of money with this decision, because a title fight between Overeem and Cain Velasquez would have done big business. Nut Silva likely turned himself into a legit star after this finish. A well-deserved Knockout of the Night bonus.