After watching the Friday night weigh-ins, it’s difficult to see past the intense stares and reserved handshakes that took place, and actually predict winners. Starting at the top, Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar both seemed ready to sort out their business and send their counterpart home without the featherweight belt.
The lighter weight class may prove more than beneficial for Edgar’s fight game, but can the former lightweight champ dethrone one of the best pound for pound fighters on the planet, in his prime? It’s possible actually, but not probable, and here’s why.
Edgar is known for relying heavily on his solid boxing skills and dynamic ground attack, while Aldo’s cup of tea is his devastating leg kicks and overall vicious (definition: savage, brutal) muy-thai assault he coordinates on anyone put in his path.
Edgar is fast, but Aldo has seen speed before in many of the featherweights he’s fought and dismantled throughout his career such as Urijah Faber, Kenny Florian, Cub Swanson, and Chad Mendes.
Just because Edgar is probably the most dangerous opponent he’s faced to date, don’t allow yourself to think that it’s a game changer, come fight night. Edgar should not be counted out in any fight in the lower weight classes, but I struggle to believe he could even find success at dominating the bantamweight division with Aldo’s protégé lurking around the corner as the interim champ, Renan Barao.
Then again, until the final bell rings, Edgar cannot be counted out of a comeback win. Everyone knows he will probably drop the first round or two, but he always, and I mean every time he’s in the cage, finds a way to make a fight of it. Simply put, he’s very technical and well rounded, and never sticks to a single game plan if he starts to lose.
The co-main event seems odd as not only a main event fight on a pay-per-view card with Overeem on the ticket, but also as a match that Joe Silva would put together to begin with. I guess it’s good the UFC will be implementing official rankings so that the public can understand how ludicrous this one really is.
Point in fact, as where Rashad Evans is one of the best in light heavyweights, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is definitely one of the least established fighters in the division. He’s barely a mid-level UFC fighter, if that at this point, and this one doesn’t make sense for Rashad, of whom is rumored to be receiving the next shot at Anderson Silva in the weight class below him, if he wins tonight, and trust me, he will.
Interestingly enough though, Evans is the one coming off of a loss to Jon Jones, while Nogueira had snapped a two fight losing streak with his most recent win against Tito Ortiz. Unfortunately a decision loss to Jones is worth more than a TKO win against Ortiz in my book.
The unheralded main event too many on the fight card is third to last on the list in Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva. Keep in mind I previewed this one much more thoroughly the other day here. To summarize, I believe any high level heavyweight MMA fight is dictated by a fighters determination and will, as opposed to things like speed and skill, at least at the absolute elite level of the sport.
Whoever puts their 300 pounds of power, neatly gift wrapped by four ounces of leather, onto their opponent’s chin first, will steal the show tonight. I believe Silva is highly underrated and Overeem a little rusty of late. That’s why I’m predicting the upset and believe Silva will shock the world with a first round TKO finish.
The rest of the fights are interesting to me, and though I believe Fitch, Benevidez, Dunham, Woodley, Volkmann, Edwards, Camus, and Rivera will win tonight, no one stepped on the scales in the video below with any perceived shreds of trepidation or doubt on the outcome.
Video courtesy of UFC.com