Jose Aldo held onto his championship belt and Rashad Evans saw his plans to fight UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva evaporate at UFC 156 on Saturday night.
Aldo beat Frankie Edgar in a five-round decision, with the judges calling it 49-46, 49-46, 48-47 for Aldo.
Edgar's face was bloody after the first round. Though he was fast and aggressive, Aldo did a better job at landing leg kicks to slow down Edgar. He continued to use those leg kicks in the second round. A welt appeared on Edgar's leg, and Aldo pounced. He threw several kicks that wobbled Edgar or even made him fall to the ground.
As the fight wore on, Aldo slowed. He became more susceptible to Edgar's takedowns. Edgar landed more strikes. But late in the final round, Aldo came on strong. After the fight ended, both men's camps celebrated with them, anticipating the win.
Aldo's won came more than a year after his last fight. He's been on a dominant streak, with his last loss coming in 2005. Edgar's record belies his standing. His last three fights were losses, but they all came in title bouts.
Before Aldo and Edgar fought, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira beat Rashad Evans in boring fight. Nogueira gained an edge by holding off Evans' wrestling and landing more punches, but neither fighter looked impressive. The judges saw the card 29-28 on all three cards for Nogueira.
During pre-fight press, Evans spoke of wanting to fight Silva. The fight would be a cut down in weight, but he needed to get through Nogueira first. He failed not only to win, but to put on an exciting fight that would convinced UFC brass.