UFC 156 is back in Las Vegas this weekend and the pay-per-view card is an event you don’t want to miss. The PPV action will get underway at 10pm ET, but you can also watch the Facebook prelims at 7pm ET and the FX prelims at 8pm ET.
UFC 156 Main Event Picks
(UFC Featherweight Championship)
• Jose Aldo (21-1) -190
• Frankie Edgar (15-3-1) +185
The current UFC Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo, will have to defend his title again tomorrow. Aldo is 3-0 in the UFC after he moved over from WEC where he also dominated. This fight could go either way and it depends on the 1st 3 rounds of the fight.
Edgar often gets into trouble early in fights and then he turns up the heat in the later rounds. Aldo is an explosive fighter and he can make Edgar pay in the early rounds for taking too many shots. Aldo has also shown great takedown defense in his fights.
It wasn’t long ago that Edgar was the UFC Lightweight Champion, but he has moved down to featherweight. Edgar should have success taking down Aldo a few times over 5 rounds, but it’s what he does when he has Aldo on the ground that matters.
Edgar has a ton of heart in the cage and I expect him to make this a very close fight. I expect the fight to go the full 5 rounds and the O4.5 is priced at -165 right now. I also lean to Edgar winning the title in an upset as long as he can win 1 of the 1st 3 rounds.
UFC 156 Main Card Picks
• Rashad Evans (17-2-1) -445
• Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (20-5) +415
Minotoro is fresh off a TKO win over Ortiz in his last fight, but before that he lost two decisions to Phil Davis and Ryan Bader. We haven’t seen Evans fight since losing to Jon Jones last April, but once he works the cage rust off he should dominate Nogueira.
Nogueira has struggled against fighters with good takedowns like Evans. Minotoro is a threat to TKO/KO anyone, but Evans has been KO’ed just once in his career against Machida in 2009. Evans will utilize takedowns to control the fight and win by decision.
• Alistair Overeem (36-11) -350
• Antonio Silva (17-4) +325
We haven’t seen Overeem in the cage for over a year, but in that fight he KO’ed Brock Lesnar. He now fights Silva in a fight that he should easily dominate with his precision striking. Silva beat Browne last fight, but before that he was knocked out twice.
Silva is a threat on the ground, but taking down Overeem is easier said than done. Overeem stops 77% of takedown attempts on him in the cage and Silva is going to have enough trouble dealing with Overeem’s striking. Take Overeem to win by TKO/KO.
• Jon Fitch (24-4-1) -200
• Demian Maia (17-4) +186
I think Maia is an excellent fighter and he has looked even better since dropping to 170 lbs in the UFC. He has two 1st round wins in the welterweight division against Dong Hyun Kim and Rick Story. He now faces a very tough test in wrestler Jon Fitch.
Fitch was embarrassed against Hendricks in 12 seconds, but in his last fight he beat Erick Silva by decision. Maia needs to be very methodical in the cage against a fighter of Fitch’s level, but if he consistently works his submissions I think he can win.
• Joseph Benavidez (16-3) -240
• Ian McCall (11-3-1) +220
This is an intriguing fight in the flyweight division. Both fighters lost to Demetrious Johnson in their last fight and now they face each other. Benavidez has a big edge in wrestling and it’s possible that he controls the entire 3 round fight.
However, if McCall can keep the fight standing up he has a better chance than the odds indicate. McCall is a good striker that is very precise with his combinations. McCall stops 82% of takedown attempts against him and I’m betting the underdog here also.