Evans considers drop to 185 pounds for title fight against Silva
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was one of a number of fighters who took part in today’s UFC 156 media conference call, and Evans made some interesting comments about a potential fight against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva should he get by Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in two weeks from now. Evans said he believes that he can beat Silva, and that if he had the opportunity to move to 185 pounds and get a title shot or a No. 1 contender’s bout in his first matchup at the lower weight, he would consider it. With Silva not having any opponent lined up for him just yet, and with Evans being one of the UFC’s top PPV draws, do not be surprised if Silva vs. Evans is the next fight for the UFC middleweight title, barring of course an upset on Feb. 2 by “Little Nog” in Las Vegas.
Edgar says Barboza has been helping him train for Aldo
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo puts his belt on the line against former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 156, and the former 155-pound kingpin today said he’s been working with lethal muay Thai striker Edson Barboza in preparation for Aldo. Edgar said that Barboza (coming off a first-round submission via strikes victory over Lucas Martins at UFC on FX 7) has been one of his key sparring partners in getting ready for Aldo, who he described as ”athletic and explosive.” And remember, if Edgar is hanging with Barboza in sparring, he should be prepared for Aldo’s leg kick onslaught, so take this little tidbit into consideration when you make your final picks and bet this UFC 156 matchup.
Kuiper vs. Janousek scratched from UFC on FOX 6
A fight between middleweights Michael Kuiper and Josh Janousek, which was set to take place at this weekend’s UFC on FOX 6 event in Chicago, has been scratched entirely after an injury to Janousek. With the event just days away and no replacement opponent on the horizon, Kuiper has been pulled from the card entirely, so UFC on FOX 6 will now only have 11 fights. There were no odds out yet for Kuiper vs. Janousek, but had the fight not been scratched, it’s likely the younger Kuiper would have entered as the favorite.
Two new fights announced for UFC 158
The UFC also officially announced two more bouts for UFC 158, which is set to take place March 16 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The first matchup is a battle of featherweights when Canada’s own Antonio Carvalho takes on American Darren Elkins in an intriguing stylistic matchup. The odds won’t come out until closer to the fight but expect Elkins (4-0 in the UFC as a featherweight and 5-1 overall) to be a slight favorite over the veteran Carvalho (2-1 in the UFC).
The second matchup is a battle of promising bantamweights when Canada’s Mitch Gagnon takes on Japan’s Issei Tamura. Gagnon is coming off a submission win over Walel Watson at UFC 152 while Tamura suffered a TKO loss to Raphael Assuncao at UFC on FUEL TV 4. Overall, both fighters are 1-1 in the UFC, making this fight very important to both fighter’s career. Again, the the UFC odds for this particular bout are not out yet, but expect it to be close to a Pick ‘em, with a slight lean towards Gagnon opening as the favorite.