Opinion: UFC 156 Post-Mortem
By Jesse Heitz
Anyone who regularly reads my pieces, whether you agree with the opinions presented or not, knows that I’m a harsh critic of the recent crop of events offered up by the sport’s premier promotions. However, UFC 156 gave me little to speak ill of, so to speak. It did not disappoint in the slightest. In addition to the thrilling action the card produced many themes consistent with my all-time favorite “storylines” upon which I can discuss.
The card featured a plethora of up-and-coming talented fighters as well as some interesting bouts between aging familiar faces of the sport. Bobby Green vs. Jacob Volkmann, was beyond phenomenal. Bobby Green’s ferocity was definitely a sight for sore eyes, eyes that have been worn down by the calculated and professional athlete approach that dominates the sport today. Other than bizarre officiating, the fight was incredible.
The card featured a fight that will undoubtedly be a hot topic of conversation within the MMA universe. That fight being between Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, which has baffled many spectators. The fight was relatively lackluster, a forgettable performance for both men to be sure. During the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White, articulated his belief that Rashad Evans had “lost the desire and drive to compete”. I don’t know if I’d go quite that far, as I think Rashad will come back stronger, but in reality it makes little difference to me. While for a period he was a top fighter at 205 pounds, he’s not a legend, and on a personal level, his brash persona is rather unappealing.
I rather enjoyed watching Alistair Overeem, fresh off of his performance enhancing drug suspension—and the sure-fire favorite of the fight, get his wings clipped by Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Although, I must admit that the fight was almost a bit bittersweet. Both have track records of using banned substances, and thus are willful cheaters in a sport where a chemically-induced edge could have disastrous effects on the opposition, so it mattered little who won. However, I must say that this unlikely turn of events could make the heavyweight scramble that much more interesting in the year to come. One of the longtime favorites to capture the heavyweight crown was upset and now has to work his way back. That’s certainly something that is good for business and for the fans.
Finally, the main event was downright incredible. There’s simply no other way to put it. Two uniquely talented and driven fighters such as Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, put on a possible fight-of-the-year performance. The back-and-forth action not only lived up to the hype, it well surpassed it. This fight served as the grand finale of an uncommonly exciting evening of MMA action.