Aldo retained against a tough challenger in Frankie Edgar. | Donald
Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Aldo withstood the most significant test of his featherweight
title reign, and it came as a surprise to no one that it was
Edgar who administered it.
Buoyed by his trademark Louisville Slugger low kicks, a stringing
right jab and a flair for the spectacular, Aldo (22-1, 4-0 UFC)
retained his 145-pound championship with a unanimous decision over
Edgar in the UFC
156 headliner on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in
All three judges gave Aldo the nod: 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47. The
26-year-old Brazilian has won 15 fights in a row, cementing his
place as one of the sport’s pound-for-pound greats.
“It was a very difficult fight,” Aldo said. “Frankie is a great
fighter. I knew I had to walk step by step, round by round to get
Aldo sprang out of the gate like a thoroughbred, punishing “The
Answer” with his jab and low kicks. Rounds one and two clearly went
the champion’s way, as he utilized his dizzying combination of
technique, power and speed to keep the indomitable Edgar (15-4-1,
9-4-1 UFC) at bay.
By the middle of round three, however, Aldo had slowed and the
momentum had begun to shift ever so subtly. Edgar kept pushing his
frenetic pace and started to find a home for his punches, his
attack spearheaded by his right hand. A lightning-quick front kick
to the face from Aldo may have been all that kept him from
surrendering the round, as Edgar forced him to abandon his focus on
the legs for fear of being taken down.
“He knew that I was going to continue my kicking and try to take me
down,” Aldo said, “so I stopped my kicking and concentrated on
Edgar turned up the heat over the final 10 minutes, hoisting and
slamming Aldo to the canvas in the fourth round and supplying more
multi-punch fire in the fifth. Aldo answered in the waning seconds,
as he sprang off the cage -- a la Anthony
Pettis -- and cracked his challenger with a beautiful Superman
“It was a close fight. I keep finding myself in these situations,”
said Edgar, who has lost his last three fights by decision.
“Congrats to Jose. He fought a great fight. I did [think I did
enough to win], but it doesn’t matter. Jose is the winner. I’m just
going to go home and take some time.”
‘Minotoro’ Nogueira Upsets Evans
In the light heavyweight co-main event, Rashad
Evans made the mistake of playing Antonio
Rogerio Nogueira’s game and wound up on the wrong side of a
unanimous decision as a result. All three judges arrived at the
same verdict: 29-28 for Nogueira (21-5, 4-2 UFC).
The 36-year-old Brazilian kept Evans (17-3-1, 12-3-1 UFC) on the
end of his stiff right jab and stout left cross for much of the
rather uneventful 15-minute confrontation. Evans secured his only
takedown late in the first round, allowing Nogueira to settle into
a rhythm on the feet. Neither man landed much of consequence on the
feet, but Nogueira struck with more volume, accuracy and authority
in the second and third rounds, helping him carry the
Evans has lost back-to-back fights for the first time as a
‘Bigfoot’ Silva Stuns Overeem
Silva turned Alistair
Overeem’s hubris against him, as he shocked the former Strikeforce
champion with a third-round knockout in a heavyweight showcase.
Silva (18-4, 2-1) brought it to a dramatic close 25 seconds into
Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Silva silenced Overeem with punches.
An overconfident Overeem toyed with “Bigfoot” for much of the first
10 minutes, smirking as he battered his body with knees from the
clinch in the first round and ripped into him with ground-and-pound
in the second. However, his inability to put away the gigantic
Brazilian came back to haunt him.
Silva tagged the Dutchman with a right cross to the side of the
head during their initial third-round exchange and then poured on
the punishment. More than 10 blows, including two sadistic right
uppercuts, found their mark before Overeem slumped to the mat,
buried by a hailstorm of punches and beaten for the first time in
more than five years.
“[You] win the fight in the cage, not outside,” Silva said. “He
talked a lot of s--- outside. I believe in myself. I believe in my
coaches and the guys who help me. I’m so happy. He didn’t expect
too much. I told him at the press conference, ‘Hey, I will make you
respect me, brother.’ I worked a lot of right hands and uppercuts.
I’m ready for anyone. I respect all heavyweights, but I’m
Maia Outgrapples Fitch, Stays Unbeaten as Welterweight
Decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Demian Maia
overwhelmed perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch with
superior grappling, as he took a one-sided unanimous decision from
American Kickboxing Academy standout in a featured welterweight
bout. Maia (18-4, 12-4 UFC) swept the scorecards by identical 30-27
Fitch (24-5-1, 14-3-1 UFC) generated almost no offense. Maia
delivered takedowns in all three rounds and kept the 34-year-old
Fort Wayne, Ind., native either pinned on the cage or grounded
hopelessly on the mat. To his credit, Fitch defended the
Brazilian’s persistent submission advances, but he was woefully
outgunned in the grappling department against the 2007 Abu Dhabi
Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold
Maia is a perfect 3-0 since moving to 170 pounds.
Benavidez Outpoints ‘Uncle Creepy’
Team Alpha Male’s Joseph
Benavidez posted his fifth win in six appearances, as he
captured a unanimous decision from Ian McCall in
a flyweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it the same:
29-28 for Benavidez (17-3, 4-1 UFC).
Benavidez landed with more volume and authority, wobbling “Uncle
Creepy” with a crisp left hook in the first round and a clubbing
right in the third. McCall (11-4-1, 0-2-1 UFC) answered in round
two, where he capitalized on a failed takedown attempt from his
opponent, moved briefly to mount and tagged Benavidez with some
effective ground-and-pound. Still, it was not enough of a statement
to turn the tide permanently in McCall’s favor.
“My last fight was close, and Ian was just as tough,” said
Benavidez, who rebounded from his September decision loss to
flyweight champion Demetrious
Johnson. “It was an awesome fight. I think it went great. I
think the judges got it right, which is awesome. I’m never
satisfied. If I’m going for another title shot, I’d like to be even
better [than I was] in this one.”More UFC 156 »
UFC 156 Prelims: Dunham Outduels Tibau; Woodley KOs Heiron
UFC 156 Play-by-Play