Main Card Breakdown:
(C) Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar
Now, the Main Event, and I can’t wait. This dubbed “Superfight” has all the ingredients to be an early favorite for the fight of the year. Two of the pound for pound best fighters will clash, with the belt on the line, and the rights to be crowned the best 145 ponder on the planet. I’m absolutely pumped for this one, and I’m back and forth who I think will win. Aldo is one of the best fighters to grace the Octagon, and has one of the better striking games I’ve seen. A big part of that striking game, is the destructive kicks he lands. I mean if you haven’t seen what Urijah Faber’s leg looked like after there fight, than you have no idea how effective they are. He is an all around fighter though, and is very hard to takedown. Edgar is a technical striker, and utilizes his speed to implement a guerilla warefare like style. Also Edgar’s wrestling is top notch, and I’m sure we will see multiple shots at a takedown. One of the edges Edgar has in this fight is his cardio, and never ending pace to a fight. We have seen Aldo look human in the championship rounds before, and Mark Hominick was able to take him down and beat him up the entire fifth round. This will be Edgar’s featherweight debut, and unsure what his gameplan will be. I mean he got screwed over twice to Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson by the judges, more so known in the second fight. I’m wondering if that is something on the back of his mind, and he is going to be more aggressive for a finish. There is a lot of if and buts to this fight, and like I mentioned before I have been back and forth with this prediction. I’m going to go with the upset here though, and I believe Edgar will dethrone Aldo, and end a reign of terror that has lasted for years.
Rashad Evans vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
An interesting co-main event as Rashad Evans take on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira aka “Lil Nog”. Evans returns to the Octagon after being defeated for only the second time in career to Jon Jones in the title fight. Evans has an interesting opportunity if he can win this fight because he will be at the top of the list to fight Anderson Silva at middleweight for the belt. Anyways, Evans has one of the better all around game in the Light Heavyweight division. He can strike, although the power in hands have faded with age. His wrestling game is one of the best, and when he has top control, he can be smothering. As for “Lil Nog”, he’d much rather have this fight standing where he is best suited. Armed with heavy hands, and technical striking, the stand up department is what he is all about. But, make no mistake is adapt to being on the ground, and has the ability to get the fight back up standing. The problem he has had is being up against the fence, and bullied ala Ryan Bader. This fight I really think will be dictated by Evans, and wherever he wants the fight. If “Lil Nog” can shrug off Evans takedown attempts, than this fight will be very interesting. I’m going to go with Rashad Evans though, to win via decision.
Alistair Overeem vs Antonio Silva
A spice needed to every main card is a heavyweight fight, and boy do we have one here. Alistair Overeem meets Antonio Silva, in what appears to be a quick fight. What I’m implying is that someone is getting knocked out, or submitted because I can’t see this going all three rounds. Overeem is an elite striker, with some of the best Muay-Thai in the Heavyweight Division. The “Reem” hasn’t lost a fight since 2007, and with a win will fight Cain Velasquez for the title, so there are implications besides a win on this fight for him. As for Antonio Silva, armed with heavy hands, but an even better ground game, will look to take this one to the floor where he is most comfortable. Silva’s rise to fame came after beating Fedor Emelianenko, and will be looking to add another name to his impressive career thus far. As far as a prediction, I think Overeem is going to crack and drop Silva. Overeem has the finishing instincts too, so I don’t think Silva will be able to recover ala the Mike Kyle fight. The “Reem” via T/KO in the very first round.
Jon Fitch vs Demian Maia
This next fight I’m excited for because of the grappling display we might see. Jon Fitch meets Demian Maia in an all important welterweight fight. Fitch is coming off a Fight of the Night performance against Erick Silva, and seems to have re-invented himself in the process. Known to be made fun of because his grinding style, Fitch was able to put forth an all out fight, and change some tunes in the process. Maia since dropping down to Welterweight is 2-0, and impressive rag-dolled Rick Story to an early submission victory. This is a tough fight to call, but I believe Fitch has the edge in the striking department, and if he can fend off Maia’s takedown attempts, he will be able to impose his will in the later rounds. I’m going to go on a limb, and say John Fitch wins via TKO, a finish he hasn’t had in a long time.
Joseph Benavidez vs Ian McCall
The main card starts out fast with two top flyweights battling it out. I’m not sure what the implications are on this fight but there is no clear number one contender in the Flyweight division. But, these two men recently fought the Champion Demetrious Johnson and lost, so it’s hard to have an idea what would be next. Anyways, I’m a fan of the flyweights, and really think they put forth some exciting fights. Ian McCall will look to use his speed, and unorthodox striking to keep Joseph Benavidez at a bay. Benavidez, perhaps the stronger fighter out of the two will look to use his wrestling to get this one on the ground where he can implement his ground and pound. This is a tough fight, and I think McCall has the striking edge, and Benavidez the wrestling edge. Both have faced off against the Champion Demetrious Johnson, and both were super competitive against him. Styles make fights though, and I think I’m going with Ian McCall and the upset in this fight.