In his first appearance in more than a year, Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo faces perhaps the most difficult test of his career.
Aldo tipped the scales at 145 pounds for his five-round super fight with former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (144) in the UFC 156 main event on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The eight other combatants lined up to work the main card, including light heavyweight co-headliners Rashad Evans (206) and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (206), also met their contracted weight requirements without incident at Friday’s official weigh-in.
An entrenched member of MMA’s pound-for-pound royalty, Aldo will carry a 14-fight winning streak into the cage. The 26-year-old Nova Uniao representative last appeared at UFC 142 in January 2012, when he knocked out the previously unbeaten Chad Mendes with a perfectly timed knee at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Victories over three-time UFC title contender Kenny Florian, former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion Urijah Faber, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 winner Jonathan Brookins, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 finalist Manny Gamburyan and Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts mainstay Cub Swanson anchor the Brazilian’s stellar resume. Aldo has delivered 15 of his 21 professional wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
Edgar downshifts to the featherweight division following back-to-back defeats to Benson Henderson at 155 pounds. The 31-year-old New Jersey native rose to global prominence in 2010, when he beat former two-division titleholder B.J. Penn twice in a four-month span. Edgar wrestled collegiately at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where he was a four-time national qualifier. In 19 career MMA bouts, he has never been finished.
UFC 156 “Aldo vs. Edgar” -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT -- also features a heavyweight duel pairing former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem (264) with Antonio Silva (262), a welterweight clash pitting the American Kickboxing Academy’s Jon Fitch (171) against Demian Maia (170) and a flyweight tilt matching Team Alpha Male’s Joseph Benavidez (126) with Ian McCall (125).
Two hours prior, the FX network will carry four preliminary bouts: Gleison Tibau (155) vs. Evan Dunham (155), Tyron Woodley (170) vs. Jay Hieron (168), Jacob Volkmann (156) vs. Bobby Green (155) and Yves Edwards (155) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (156). The two remaining undercard matches will stream to the UFC’s Facebook page at 6:35 p.m. ET/3:35 PT, as Roufusport export Chico Camus (134) locks horns with the undefeated Dustin Kimura (*139) and Edwin Figueroa (*136) collides with Francisco Rivera (*135.5).
UFC 156 “Aldo vs. Edgar” Weigh-In Results:
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)
Gleison Tibau (155) vs. Evan Dunham (155)
Tyron Woodley (170) vs. Jay Hieron (168)
Jacob Volkmann (156) vs. Bobby Green (155)
Yves Edwards (155) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (156)
Chico Camus (134) vs. Dustin Kimura (*139)
Edwin Figueroa (*136) vs. Francisco Rivera (*135.5)
Kimura failed to meet the 136-pound limit for his bout and will forfeit 20 percent of his purse. Figueroa and Rivera made weight on their second attempt.