One of the most anticipated fights in quite some time is set to go.
Featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former lightweight champ (or “still rightful lightweight champ,” in some fans’ minds) Frankie Edgar made weight without problem Friday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas ahead of their headlining title bout at Super Saturday’s UFC 156 show.
Edgar, making his featherweight debut, actually had one pound to spare, hitting the scale at 144 pounds. Aldo, a featherweight veteran by now even at 26, has gotten this weigh-in thing down pat, coming in right on the 145-pound number.
Ironically, Aldo has been contemplating a move up to lightweight as the weight cut gets more difficult with age. It would be quite funny to see Aldo and Edgar — two guys whom fans wanted to see fight each other for a while and made sense considering the latter seemed like a more natural featherweight even while he was the lightweight champ — ultimately switching divisions.
Just as Edgar goes down, Aldo goes the other way.
But that’s only hypothetical talk. Right now, it’s all about Saturday night.
And if Aldo has his way, Edgar may regret having made the decision to drop down.
“He’s a great fighter, but I’m going to send him back to his weight class,” Aldo said through a translator after the weigh-ins.
Edgar, meanwhile, was a little less… “trash-talky.”
“I know (Aldo’s) been a great champion for a while,” Edgar said. “Nothing you want bad enough is going to be given to you, so I’m ready to take it tomorrow.”
Here are the full weigh-in results:
Main card (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT)
Jose Aldo (145) vs. Frankie Edgar (144)
Rashad Evans (206) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (206)
Alistair Overeem (264) vs. Antonio Silva (262)
Jon Fitch (171) vs. Demian Maia (170)
Joseph Benavidez (126) vs. Ian McCall (125)
Preliminary card (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, Pacific, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT)
Evan Dunham (155) vs. Gleison Tibau (155)
Jay Hieron (168) vs. Tyron Woodley (170)
Bobby Green (155) vs. Jacob Volkmann (156)
Yves Edwards (155) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (156)
Online prelims (Sportsnet.ca, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT)
Chico Camus (134) vs. Dustin Kimura (139.5)
Edwin Figueroa (137.5) vs. Francisco Rivera (137)
For some time now, Brazil has been taking over the MMA universe.
Yet for a UFC card that features a champion from Manaus and four of the five main-card bouts including a fighter who hails from the South American country, the Brazilians seem to be getting overshadowed by their American opponents.
More of the talk surrounding the main event is about how Edgar will do in his featherweight debut and if he can accomplish history by becoming only the third fighter to become champion in two different weight classes.
In the co-main event, everyone is already looking past Nogueira and talking about what’s next for the heavily favoured Evans after his inevitable win over the underdog Brazilian, who may just be past his prime.
Silva is completely flying under the radar in his bout against Overeem, whose return to the Octagon is about as anticipated as any fighter in recent memory, for good and bad reasons. (Overeem wore a shirt to the weigh-ins that read: “HATERS GONNA HATE”).
And while Maia is getting a fair amount of respect ahead of his important welterweight matchup with Fitch after having won his first two fights at 170 fairly impressively, more people seem to have jumped back on the bandwagon of the former No. 1 contender, wondering if this Jon Fitch 2.0 stuff is really legit.
Aside from Aldo, who is a fairly sizable favourite at -220, every other Brazilian on the main card is an underdog, with Silva and Nogueira at a whopping +320 and +400, respectively. When was the last time you could say that?