Going into the second installment of UFC on Fox, UFC Vice President of Talent Relations and Matchmaker Joe Silva knew the January 28th card had to surpass the outcome of its predecessor (UFC on Fox, November 12th 2001). Televising three fights instead of one has peaked the interests of the company’s constituency. Of the three fights scheduled, two carry title implications. This is the type of card that vindicates UFC, when it comes to giving the people fights they want.
Without further adieu, here’s why the United Center will undergo pandemonium without any involvement from the Chicago Bulls:
Demian Maia vs. Chris “The All-American” Weidman- Middleweight Division Bout
The marketing department of Duralast should consider Maia as a spokesman for its products because he resembles the company slogan…”Built To Last”. In his last six fights (4-2), Maia’s fate came by way of unanimous decision, which included a loss to the best pound-for-pound fighter in the game and current Middleweight king Anderson Silva. That span alone is one short of Weidman’s entire fight career. At 7-0, The All American has won three by way of submission, two with knockouts and two duplicating Maia’s most recent result. Because an unfortunate occurrence caused Weidman to take this fight on an 11-day notice, experience will prevail over youth. Maia outlasts The All American!
Chael Sonnen vs. Michael “The Count” Bisping- Middleweight Title Contention Bout
Originally, Sonnen was set to face Mark The Filipino Wrecking Machine Munoz to decide Anderson Silva’s next opponent. The unfortunate occurrence mentioned earlier, came in the form of bone spurs in Munoz’s elbow, forcing him to bow out of his shot. In comes Bisping! In case you’re unaware, Bisping and Sonnen have absolute contempt towards one another. They’ve been involved in a war of words that has sparked anticipation for this long-awaited meeting. While Munoz’s mishap is nothing to celebrate, it is the reason these bitter rivals will finally put their words to action. This contrast of styles will bring about a synergy that could result in an early “Fight of the Year” candidate. Given my uncertainty of The Count’s takedown defense and Sonnen having yet to face a man he can’t get to the mat, my expectation is for Sonnen to see Silva a second time, come Summer 2012.
“Suga” Rashad Evans vs. Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis- Light Heavyweight Title Contention Bout
While Evans and Davis’ history with words is only a fraction of Sonnen and Bisping’s, the exchanges between the light heavyweights have been memorable. Davis declared the only way he would miss a title shot is if he breaks his hand from hitting Evans too hard. Evans, fired back, taking the pre-fight press conference to a place of hysterical laughter when he called Mr. Wonderful a crossbreed of John Salley and Arsenio Hall. Back to the fight. Both fighters are Division I collegiate wrestlers. Davis out of Penn State and Evans out of Michigan State…a Big-10 conference rivalry. The only other attribute to Evans’ game is his striking, which improves with every fight. Davis uses submissions and strikes, but the latter has ways to go before reaching comparability to Evans’. Looking at the numerous injuries that have postponed Evans’ title shot, the former Light heavyweight champion should be the hungrier of the two combatants, willing his way to the fight in which he is due.
Three Pay-Per-View caliber fights…on the same card…for free? If you are not knowledgeable of Mixed Martial Arts, UFC on Fox 2 is the event that will enlighten you on why UFC is the fastest growing sports organization to date. Enjoy the fights and I’ll see you soon with this weekend’s recap.
By Antoine Hoffman