UFC 156 saw some surprises unfold. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
A slew of Top 10 talent was in action at UFC 156, and though some bouts went down exactly as expected, the event came with more than a few twists.
Jose Aldo proved that he is still the man to beat at 145 pounds, even if he appeared to fade late in his five-round title defense against indefatigable ex-lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. While the featherweights topped the bill, the night truly belonged to Antonio Silva. The Brazilian heavyweight scored a shocking and brutal “Knockout of the Night” in the third round against Alistair Overeem, who won the first two periods and had been all but anointed as the next challenger to Cain Velasquez.
Also stunning was Demian Maia’s near-flawless display of grappling against Jon Fitch, as the Brazilian dominated the former Purdue University wrestler for 15 minutes and moved to a perfect 3-0 at welterweight. No less surprising -- but considerably less exciting -- was Antonio Rogerio Nogueira’s three-round win over Rashad Evans in a lackluster bout in which “Minotoro” repeatedly beat Evans to the punch.
Finally, Joseph Benavidez moves into the No. 2 slot at flyweight after outpointing onetime divisional ruler Ian McCall. Considering the relatively shallow talent pool in the nascent division, Benavidez could soon be looking at a rematch with flyweight boss Demetrious Johnson, who earned a split nod in their September meeting.
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