Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
The last time we were all huddled together in this space, we held fast to a few simple truths. Rashad Evans was going to drop down to middleweight to challenge Anderson Silva. Anthony Pettis vs. Benson Henderson II was just a FOX fight away. And Alistair Overeem was finally going to seize his long-awaited UFC title shot.
Yeah, about that...
Somehow, within a span of a few hours on Saturday night, each of those indelible truths crumbled, one by one. First it was Overeem, whose overconfidence allowed a winnable fight to be wrenched away by Antonio ‘Bigfoot' Silva, who I can only presume hoarsely shouted the Portuguese equivalent of "Fatality!" over and over again as he unloaded one of the most visceral displays of violence we've seen all year.
Then it was Evans' turn. After a week inundated by questions about his next potential opponent, the opponent actually standing across from him inside the Octagon rendered the whole conversation null and void, much to the delight of the Weidman household.
But, of course, the biggest bombshell saved itself for last. Long after the lights had dimmed inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center, as a battered Frankie Edgar slumped low into his seat, a vacant expression adorned on his face, hollow-point bullets bursting from his eyes through the onlooking press, a new challenger for Jose Aldo emerged. All it took was a simple text message, sent from No. 1 lightweight contender Anthony Pettis to UFC President Dana White, and the title landscape in two separate divisions had been transformed.
Where we go from here is still uncertain, but one fact cannot be doubted. UFC 156 made this whole fighting thing a hell of a lot more interesting.
7 MUST-READ STORIES
Aldo victorious. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo narrowly defeated former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 49-46) to retain his title in the anticipated main event of UFC 156. (Video.) Though the win was not without controversy, as numerous pros scored the bout in Edgar's favor.
Silva stuns Overeem. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva shocked the mixed martial arts world for a second time, utterly destroying previous No. 1 contender Alistair Overeem with a monstrous third-round knockout. (Video.)
Pettis wants Aldo. According UFC President Dana White, No. 1 lightweight contender Anthony Pettis texted him immediately following Aldo's victory on Saturday night, offering to drop down to featherweight and challenge the Brazilian. "It didn't cross my mind until he texted me," White commented. "But it's crossing my mind now."
Evans listless in defeat. Continuing with the theme of lost opportunities, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans squandered any chance he had to fight Anderson Silva, losing a lethargic unanimous decision to longtime veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Said Dana White afterward: "[Evans] has lost that hunger. He has lost that desire and that drive, and he needs to get it back. There's no doubt about it."
Weidman 'probably' next. The true winner of the weekend? Middleweight contender Chris Weidman. With Rashad Evans now out of the picture, Weidman is the last man standing in a suddenly empty 185-pound division. Said Dana White: "I'd say Weidman is next. It's a process dealing with Anderson. I know how this works. It's probably Weidman."
ONE FC 7 results. Reigning URCC lightweight champion Honorio Banario defeated Filipino up-and-comer Eric Kelly via fourth-round TKO to claim the inaugural ONE FC featherweight title in the main event of ONE FC 7. For more, check out a complete stream of gifs and recaps.
White talks Belfort, Couture. Dana White vehemently shot down the rumor that Vitor Belfort failed his UFC on FX 7 post-fight drug test, before elaborating at length on his disintegrating relationship with UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
I know, I know. We should just move past it. But before we do, check out Bigfoot's knockout one more time. Sometimes mixed martial arts is bananas, y'all.
If you haven't seen Saturday's post-fight scrum, I'd advise you at least check out the 16:00 mark to see Dana White slowly unravel his relationship with Randy and Ryan Couture.
It seems strangely voyeuristic now, but the new episode of The Reem is still quality entertainment.
Chuck Liddell's fight viewing mannerisms are legendary, so this clip of Iceman watching Teixeira vs. Rampage cageside isn't altogether surprising. Though it's interesting to see his lady friend has adopted much of the same traits.
If you missed out on last week's Bellator offering, feel free to throw your morning work aside and check out the entire main card.
|Bellator MMA - Jan 31 - Episode 803|
Normally I avoid posting any shaky cell phone video with awful background jabber, but for this I'll make an exception. (For the lazy, jump to 2:20.)
SCORECARDS ALL OVER THE BOARD
I think Aldo 1 and 2... Frankie 3, 4 and 5. Agree?— Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) February 3, 2013
I got it 2 1/2 to 2 1/2 damage Aldo, both legends!— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) February 3, 2013
there should have been a new feather weight champion. frankie edgar is still my hero :)— Nam Phan (@NamPhanMMA) February 3, 2013
I am stunned that people are stunned that jose won that fight. To be the champ you better beat the champ n that did not happen— Jens Pulver (@Jens_Pulver) February 3, 2013
Judges suck— Chris Clements(@menaceclements) February 3, 2013
Franky wins the last two rounds, but Aldo did the most damage and should win the fight. 3-2 for Aldo #ufc156— Nik Lentz Ufc mma (@NikLentz) February 3, 2013
Brock Jardine (@BrockJardine) February 3, 2013
Gotta go 48-47 Aldo but 3rd round was razor close— Steven Siler (@Stevesiler) February 3, 2013
Shame! @frankieedgar is the best fighter ever to lose his last 3 fights, but not really lose his last 3 fights.— Din Thomas (@DinThomas) February 3, 2013
Joe Rogan could have you thinking that the person who is losing the fight , is winning the fight ! #UFC156— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunsonMMA) February 3, 2013
Close but I feel that @frankieedgar WON!— Duane Ludwig (@DUANEBANGCOM) February 3, 2013
I want Aldo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Chan Sung Jung (@KoreanZombieMMA) February 3, 2013
Ricardo Lamas (@RicardoLamasMMA) February 3, 2013
EVANS VS. LIL NOG: NOT MUCH MORE TO SAY
I had that fight 2 rds to 0 for Nog. Didn't count the first round cause it ABSOLUTELY SUCKED!!!— Dana White (@danawhite) February 3, 2013
Lets do this Anderson!— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) February 3, 2013
RESPECT, IT'S IMPORTANT
There is nothing behind the words!— juniorcigano (@junior_cigano) February 3, 2013
Hector Lombard (@HectorLombard) February 3, 2013
That's the most excited I've seen my timeline ever. Ever. #UFC— Stipe Miocic (@smiocic) February 3, 2013
OH MY GOOOOOOOODDDDDD!!!!— Kyle Kingsbury (@Kingsbu) February 3, 2013
Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) February 3, 2013
WOW!!! Pretty sure Bigfoot was asking Overeemhow u like them apples. #respect was just taken— Brock Jardine (@BrockJardine) February 3, 2013
Arg!— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) February 3, 2013
Who is the king of Miami?? Quem e o rei de Miami?? Obg. A todos pela torcida..."Amo todos vcs"...Brasillllll twitter.com/BigfootSilva/s…— Antonio Pezao Silva (@BigfootSilva) February 3, 2013
Jon Fitch is getting Jon Fitched, ironic.— Miguel Angel Torres (@MiguelTorresMMA) February 3, 2013
Some incredible technique being booed by a Las Vegas crowd.— Brian Stann (@BrianStann) February 3, 2013
Great fight by @demianmaia. When I go to 170lbs after this next fight. I would love to fight him.— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) February 3, 2013
Joseph Benavidez (@JoeJitsu) February 3, 2013
I am sorry. I'm official overrated— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) February 3, 2013
She stood him up when he had 30 unanswered shots and stayed busy the entire time!!!! These refs need to learn about fighting— Dana White (@danawhite) February 3, 2013
Imagine if Kim Winslow was a school crossing guard , there would be a lot of dead children with her late stoppages #UFC156— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunsonMMA) February 3, 2013
CHAEL TO VITOR
That wasn't a cross- it was a positive sign.— chael sonnen (@sonnench) February 1, 2013
UNCANNY HEALING ABILITY
Family shot twitter.com/JonnyBones/sta…— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) February 4, 2013
Announced over the weekend (Friday, February 1, 2013 - Sunday, February 3, 2012):
- UFC on FOX 7: Yoel Romero (4-1) vs. Clifford Starks (8-1)
- UFC on FUEL 9: Besam Yousef (6-1) vs. Papy Abedi (8-2)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees MikeWellman88 return with: UFC 156: Winners & Losers Who Shook Up Their Divisions
UFC 156 will be remembered for a long time. It was a great night of fights from start to finish, and we had some of our pre-fight questions answered, along with new ones we didn't think to ask in the first place. The night showcased the octagon debuts of three Strikeforce fighters who all outlasted and defeated UFC veterans, and the top portion sent fighters flying in and out of the top 10, and served to clear out several number-one contender seats in the UFC. It was a great night if you were a Brazilian, and a bad one if you were a Blackzilian. With more than one division's top 5 rankings in a state of disarray, lets hurry up and sort through the rubble left by UFC 156.
Best Use of A Text Message: Anthony Pettis.
UFC 156 ended with Jose Aldo retaining his featherweight title in close fight against Frankie Edgar. While most were asking what would be next for Edgar, after dropping three straight title fights, somebody decided to insert themselves into the conversation about who'd be next for the reigning king of 145 lbs. Dana White revealed at the post-fight press conference that he got a text message from surging 155 lbs contender, Anthony Pettis, asking for a shot at Aldo.
It's perfect. Pettis knows that his title shot at lightweight isn't coming for a solid 7-8 months, why not cash it all in against someone a little higher up on the pound-for-pound list. Don't get me wrong, I do have Benson Henderson on my pound-for-pound list, just behind Jose Aldo, but Pettis has already beat Henderson. Anthony Pettis doesn't cut weight to get to 155 lbs. So you mean to tell me that Pettis is able to land one-of-a-kind 'Showtime' moves off of the cage wall against guys that cut down to get to the weight he walks around at? Imagine what a roughly same-sized Pettis could do against smaller opponents? From the looks of things Pettis is going to be springing from the cage in multiple divisions, and that is an intriguing thought.
Biggest Winner: Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva.
In choosing between Tyron Woodley's blasting of Jay Hieron and the giant Silva's performance at UFC 156 for Biggest Winner, it really came down to who's destruction was against tougher opposition. I can't claim to know what was going through the mind of Alistair Overeem during his fight against Silva, but Bigfoot made it a point to bring whatever it was to a screeching halt. I was a little bit afraid when he went on the re-attack, and started shouting at the pile of Alistair Overeem that he left, but luckily for everyone involved nobody was eaten. And by doing a little revisionist history, Bigfoot's track-record is starting to look pretty darn good. Handing Travis Browne his first defeat by KO? Pulverizing Fedor Emelianenko? And now this? Yes, Cain Velasquez did make the giant bleed his own blood, but for Heaven's sake, how good must that make Cain Velasquez? When guys string together enough wins, we all re-evaluate the regard we've been holding them in up to that point. This was Silva's biggest win to-date, and puts him on a short list for a title shot.
Much more after the the jump...
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.
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