UFC 156 Betting Notes
January 31, 2013
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Jose Aldo (21-1) vs. Frankie Edgar (14-3-1)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Aldo -220, Edgar +170
Frankie Edgar will look to be the first to finally dethrone Jose Aldo as the two headline UFC 156’s main card on Saturday night with the featherweight title bout.
Edgar is going for the record books in this one, looking to be just the third UFC fighter to hold titles in two different divisions in his career. A previous lightweight champion, this will be his first featherweight bout. And it won’t be easy for him getting thrown into the fire against the world’s top featherweight who is only getting better at age 26. Aldo has easily fended off whomever UFC President Dana White has thrown his way, beating top fighters such as Chad Mendes, Kenny Florian and Mark Hominick in his past three fights.
Since winning the WEC featherweight championship in 2009, Aldo has defended his belt a total of five times and three times for UFC since his title was promoted. Knockouts are his favorite way to win with 13 of his 21 career wins coming that way. That includes his last fight against Mendes, who did not make it out of the first round. "Junior" Aldo is also comfortable taking it to the judges, however, as he did against Florian and Hominick, winning unanimous decisions in both bouts. Aldo’s ground game is as good as it comes in MMA and his legs will be able to help him endure this potentially long championship bout. Also, at 5-foot-7, he has a one-inch height advantage on Edgar.
Edgar is coming off two losses, both decisions to Benson Henderson for the UFC lightweight belt. The second of those was a split decision but sparked Edgar’s decision to move to the featherweight division where he could earn another title attempt. "The Answer" Edgar’s endurance is his key, with eight of his 14 career wins coming via decision. A talented wrestler, he’ll need to really try to make Aldo work early in order to have a chance of tiring him out and scoring points with the judges.
Joey Oddessa Analysis
"It's tough to find a better more intriguing championship bout in the last couple years. Both guys are incredible fighters but I think the layoff is going to be significant for Aldo and Edgar may not lose a round after round one. If Frankie can avoid damage and has an answer for Aldo's kicks, we'll see a new World Champion. Frankie Edgar."
Rashad Evans (22-2-1) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (20-5)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Evans -600, Nogueira +400
Two fighters who need to shake off some rust will come to blows on the main card of UFC 156 on Saturday night as Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira take the Octagon.
Evans last fought in April 2012, losing by a unanimous decision to Jon Jones for the light heavyweight belt. Nogueira has been out of the game even longer, not having fought since his win against Tito Ortiz in December 2011. Evans is a heavy, heavy favorite in this one as one of the top-ranked fighters in this division. But Nogueira deserves more credit than he’s receiving, even at the age of 36. He owns a three-inch height advantage on Evans and has beaten some of the best fighters in the world throughout his career, even if he isn’t quite the fighter he once was.
Prior to losing to Jones, Evans won four straight against Phil Davis, Tito Ortiz, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Thiago Silva. Three of those wins were unanimous decisions while the win against Ortiz was an emphatic second-round TKO. Before that winning streak, Evans lost to Lyoto Machida, surrendering the UFC light heavyweight belt he took from Forest Griffin in the previous fight. A wrestler and boxer, "Suga" Evans can strike well, but the takedowns are the crux of his game. It also makes him incredibly difficult to take down, as he is one of the best defenders in the world.
Nogueira is a flexible fighter with the ability to win whatever way presents itself. With 20 career wins, he has won eight times from the judges and six teams each via submission and knockout. In his last fight, he knocked out Tito Ortiz in the first round. Nogueira is an excellent boxer and fortunately for him his style may match up well against Evans because Nogueira does not focus on takedowns. Rather, he is a strong striker with good Jiu-Jitsu skills and the potential to earn a submission at any point. It may appear unlikely that he wins this one, but he has a chance better than these odds give him credit for.
Joey Oddessa Analysis
"Old Pride vet vs career UFC vet. I expect Evans wrestling to be too much for little Nog much like the wrestlers on Nog's resumee. Rashad should handle him if he avoids any kind of bout ending shot to the chin.
Alistair Overeem (36-11-1) vs. Antonio Silva (17-4)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Overeem -370, Silva +280
Back from a suspension due to a failed drug test that his kept him out of UFC since December 2011, Alistair Overeem will take on Antonio Silva on UFC 156’s main card heavyweight bout on Saturday night.
Overeem is an elite fighter having won 11 consecutive fights dating back to 2007 with one no-contest mixed in. His most recent wins, in 2011, were a quick TKO against Brock Lesnar and Fabricio Werdum. Those skills set him as a heavy favorite here, but Silva deserves some credit coming off his first UFC win. In that bout, he quickly KO-ed Travis Browne, who had been considered one of the rising stars in the heavyweight division. Prior to that, Silva was knocked out in the first round in two consecutive fights by Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier. While Overeem has been more consistently dominant, it’s tough to know exactly what the The Reem will bring to the table after so long away from the Octagon.
The one thing about a fight with Overeem is that it will probably not go to the judges. With 36 career wins, he has won via decision just twice, owning 15 knockouts and 19 submissions to his name. Kickboxing is the main part of his game while he also incorporates Muay Thai and some grappling as he seeks a balanced, but aggressive approach. At 6-foot-5, he has a one-inch height advantage on Silva, but in this fight between two giants, that won’t matter as much as the condition they are in. If Overeem is the same fighter he was before the suspension, this fight should be his. But that is far from a guarantee.
Like Overeem, Silva likes to get fights done early and also just has two decision wins to his name. Twelve of his 17 career wins have been knockouts while he also has three submissions. Those submissions are a credit to his Jiu-Jitsu skills, but that also makes up a small part of his attack, as his karate and judo are more the basis of his style. An aggressive striker, Silva is agile and brings strong technique to the Octagon, making an opponent beat him rather than beating himself. If he capitalizes when Overeem gives him opportunities, this could be an upset in the making.
Joey Oddessa Analysis
"Don't blink. Both these guys can punch, both have KO power, and both hav esuspect chins. You won't catch me laying a big price on the favorite here. Silva is as live as anyone that fought Overeem in the past few years and arguably better than any of Reem's recent opposition. A winnable bout for Silva if his head is right. Otherwise his head could get pulled over for speeding in the first row."