Five of the 11 bouts on the card ended inside the distance while the co-main and main event ended in judge's decisions, respectively.
In a sport like mixed martial arts (MMA), each bout can only have one winner and one loser. Earning a victory inside the world-famous Octagon is the highest of highs while suffering a defeat in front of millions of viewers can be the lowest of lows.
Every competitor who steps foot in the cage is looking for that moment of glory. Some capture it, others don't.
There were several shining stars on the UFC 156 fight card as well as an equal amount of disappointments. With that said, it's time to name the biggest winner and biggest loser from the event in Las Vegas
The biggest winner of the night was Antonio Silva, who delivered perhaps one of the most memorable comeback performances of all time with his third-round technical knockout of Alistair Overeem. "Bigfoot" was a massive underdog coming into the fight and viewed by most as a stepping-stone to the title for Overeem. The Brazilian wasn't having any of it, though; as he came back from a two round deficit to knock "The Reem" clean out in the third. Overeem had his way with Silva for the first ten minutes of the fight, controlling the stand up, clinch and ground positions. When the third round began, Silva came out like a man possessed, throwing the kitchen sink and more at the Dutchman. A head kick from Silva was the beginning of the end as he rocked Overeem and was relentless with his strikes until he put his foe unconscious. The cards were aligned for Overeem to get a shot and with Silva's win the heavyweight division is now in a state of disarray.
Jose Also reigned supreme in the UFC 156 main event, successfully defending his UFC featherweight championship against Frankie Edgar in a riveting five-round battle. Each man had his high points in the fight and despite his defeat, Edgar certainly delivered a valiant effort, but Aldo's superior counter-striking and ability to inflict damage earned him the victory. This writer scored the fight 48-47 for Aldo, giving him the first three rounds; however, an argument can certainly be made for an Edgar victory. While it may not have been Aldo's most dominant performance, the fact he entered the fight off the longest layoff in his career against arguably the most difficult opponent he has ever faced earns him some leniency for the close fight. Where "Scarface" goes from here is anyone guess, but at UFC 156 the Brazilian proved why he is one of the world's pound-for-pound greats.
Demian Maia put on the performance of a lifetime with a three-round mauling of Jon Fitch in one of the featured bouts of the UFC 156 pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast. Maia shocked everyone, including this writer, when he charged at Fitch from the opening bell, took the fight to the ground, established back control and worked for the finish. While he could not put Fitch away, essentially the entire 15-minute contest was a rinse and repeat, as Maia took Fitch down, secured a dominant position and cruised to the decision victory. The win pushed Maia's record to 3-0 since dropping to the welterweight division and the jiu-jitsu specialist is looking more and more like he could be a future challenger to welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre.
The three Strikeforce imports that made their Octagon debuts at UFC 156 made huge statements as Isaac Vallie-Flagg, Bobby Green and Tyron Woodley all delivered breakthrough performance by taking out UFC veterans Yves Edwards, Jacob Volkmann and Jay Hieron, respectively.
Vallie-Flagg outpointed Edwards en route to a split decision win, Green submitted Volkmann in the third round after a riveting back-and-forth battle and finally, Woodley absolutely starched Hieron for a highlight reel knockout.
One of the burning questions going into UFC 156 was how the Strikeforce fighters would fair against UFC competition, and the answer was definitive, as they picked up a clean 3-0 sweep.
The biggest loser of the night was Alistair Overeem. "The Reem" was one fight away from his dream of fighting for the UFC heavyweight title and those dreams went down in flames with a devastating knockout at the hands of Antonio Silva. Overeem was extremely confident coming into the fight, calling the bout with "Bigfoot" a "warm-up fight" and even saying he would "f***ing destroy" the Brazilian at the pre-fight press conference. Overeem's apparent cockiness led into the fight as he held his hands by his waist throughout the contest. Overeem overconfidence ultimately resulted in his demise as Silva came from behind to hand Overeem his first loss since 2007, sending him back to square one in the heavyweight division.
Frankie Edgar made the move everyone was hoping for by dropping to the featherweight division, but the result was a third consecutive loss in a UFC championship fight. "The Answer" dropped a unanimous decision to Jose Aldo in the UFC 156 main event, leaving his future very much in the air. Edgar certainly proved he is capable of being an elite fighter at 145-pounds, and a rematch with Aldo could be in the cards with one or two more wins. While that is all well and good, Edgar faced a much more significant problem. The 31-year-old finds himself in a consistent routine of close title fights. He hangs in the there, but Edgar simply lacks that one major threat that gets him over the hump in these title fights. It's not through any fault of his own, but the New Jersey native needs to find a way to add that extra zing to his game.
Rashad Evans had his chance to secure a chance to fight Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight championship with a win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the UFC 156 co-main event, but fell short, losing a unanimous decision to the Brazilian. With so much on the line, Evans lacked the tenaciousness needed to pull out the victory and allowed "Minotoro" to work his game and outscore "Suga" en route to the decision win. Coming into the fight, Evans was talking about nearly retiring from the sport following his loss to Jon Jones, but claimed he rediscovered his fighting spirit prior to this bout. It certainly didn't look that way over the three-round contest, as Evans lacked urgency to make anything significant happen. The Team Blackzilians member came into the fight as the biggest betting favorite on the card, and the simple fact he lost gives him a spot in the biggest losers category.
Jay Hieron falls into the loser's category for suffering yet another defeat under the UFC banner. In three separate stints with the organization dating all the way back to 2004, "The Thoroughbred" has been incapable of coming out on the winning end when he steps inside the Octagon, recording a record of 0-4. This time around Hieron barely even got a chance to fight, as Tyron Woodley knocked him out in just 36-seconds. It's a shame to see because Hieron is a talented fighter with some notable wins on his record, but when he gets under the bright lights of the UFC things simply do not go his way.
Ian McCall dropped his UFC record to 0-2-1 with a unanimous decision defeat to Joseph Benavidez in the opening fight of the UFC 156 pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast, and as a consequence, is in somewhat of a no mans land in the UFC flyweight division. "Uncle Creepy" has already fought 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson twice, and with a loss to Benavidez will be out of the flyweight title picture for the foreseeable future. All three of McCall's UFC bouts have been competitive matches, but the 28-year-old is in desperate need of a victory after another tick in the loss column at UFC 156.
Who were your biggest winner and loser from UFC 156? Let us know in the comments in the comment section below.