UFC 156 was a card filled with unexpected upsets, shaking up several of the UFC’s most exciting weight classes.
While not every fight was a barnburner, the result of almost every fight was interesting for its own reason.
Take a look to see who won and lost the most inside of Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center Saturday Night.
Antonio Silva – “Bigfoot” was repeatedly disrespected by Alistair Overeem leading up to this fight, being called a “warm-up fight” before the Dutchman got his title shot.
The former K-1 kickboxing champion gave his Brazilian counterpart no respect inside the cage, walking around with his hands down practically daring his former Blackzilian teammate to hit him.
That didn’t work out in his favor, as Silva teed off with a highlight-reel worthy knockout combination early in the third round. This puts Bigfoot in the top five of the division and possibly one win away from a title shot.
Jose Aldo – The UFC featherweight champion again proved his worth in the pound-for-pound rankings, defeating a very game opponent in Frankie Edgar.
While the fight was close and has some controversy surrounding it, there is little doubt that “Scarface” did enough to retain his title.
Lightweight contender Anthony Pettis called out the Brazilian for a title fight afterwards, while quite unexpected, would be a great fight that would sell a lot of pay-per-views.
Demian Maia – Anyone who doubted that the decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is a true contender at welterweight needs to look no further than his performance against Jon Fitch.
Fitch looked like an amateur against a far superior grappler, with Maia’s wrestling all of a sudden looking world class to complement his submission skills.
Maia easily continues to impress since dropping down from middleweight and easily enters the welterweight top five with the win.
Strikeforce imports - Let’s be honest: no one besides Scott Coker and Frank Shamrock predicted that former Strikeforce fighters Isaac Vallie-Flagg, Bobby Green and Tyron Woodley would all win Saturday night, but that’s exactly what happened.
Vallie-Flagg beat a tough veteran in Yves Edwards, Green scored a masterful submission over decorated wrestler Jacob Volkmann and Woodley knocked Jay Hieron senseless in under a minute.
Not bad for a bunch of guys no one thought were ready for the big time.
Alistair Overeem – Despite being out of action for 14 months due to a performance-enhancing drug related suspension, “The Demolition Man” was riding a 12-fight unbeaten streak and was guaranteed a title shot with a win over Antonio Silva.
Not a bad deal at all, but the problem was Overeem took Silva incredibly lightly. He expected to walk through “Bigfoot,” refusing to utilize any counterstriking or striking defense seemingly to prove a point.
The only point proven was that Overeem was far too cocky going into this bout. His star power will likely get him a match up with Junior dos Santos next, but a loss there could get him his pink slip.
Rashad Evans – The former UFC light heavyweight champion had the prospect of a middleweight title shot dangling in front of him with a win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Despite talking all week about how motivated he was and how he wouldn’t look past “Lil’ Nog,” Evans certainly looked like he did both.
His wrestling was almost non-existent and he seemed content to walk into Nogueira’s jab for three rounds. “Suga” fought the worst fight of his career since he inexplicably decided to fight not to lose instead of fighting to win. What a disappointment.
Jon Fitch – The perennial number two at welterweight for years, Fitch is officially a divisional gatekeeper after getting beaten by his own game Saturday night.
Fitch had no answers for Maia’s constant pressure and superior technique on the ground. The American Kickboxing Academy standout is now just 1-2-1 in his past four and neither loss was remotely close.
Fitch had excuses when he suffered a quick knockout to Johny Hendricks at UFC 141 in Dec. 2011, how is he going to rationalize this loss?
Frankie Edgar – Whether you agreed with the judges’ decision or not, Edgar, a former UFC lightweight champ, has now lost three in a row.
“The Answer” made a critical tactical error in this title fight by trying to outstrike Aldo for the majority of the fight, shying away from his wrestling. Aldo did display great takedown defense on many occasions, but Edgar did not press the grappling exchanges either.
Edgar has not decided if he will stay at featherweight or go back to lightweight yet, but 145-pounds is the best weight class for him. If he wins three in a row, he will be ready for another shot at UFC gold and “Scarface” may very well be a part of the lightweight division by then.