Murphy's Law is an adage that states, "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong;" introducing UFC on Fox 2. Although this was technically the second UFC on FOX event, it was the first full card that was featured with three big bouts.
The first one, back in November, just showed a championship fight that lasted all of 64 seconds. Thus, it was important for many reasons that the six fighters in action Saturday night provide just that, action. Unfortunately, what looked good on paper, didn't translate well to the cage as the result was three lackluster decisions.
The main event was between light-heavyweights (205 lbs.) 'Suga' Rashad Evans (17-1-1, 6 KO's 2 subs) and Phil 'Mr. Wonderful' Davis (9-1, 2 KO's 3 subs), a pair of former Big 10 wrestlers from Michigan State and Penn State respectively; sadly, it may have turned out better if it were an amateur wrestling match. That's because Evans, a former UFC champion, outclassed the inexperienced Davis over five rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Clearly quicker and better with his hands and in MMA, his wrestling, Evans dominated, but never really hurt Davis seriously; though he did bloody and beat him up pretty good. Although Davis has a very promising future, it was evident that his lack of experience, especially against the caliber of opponents Evans has faced, was the big difference. Nonetheless, he hung tough with the former champ and survived a couple of moments throughout when he was caught under Evans in a vulnerable crucifix position on the ground.
Meanwhile, Evans, who was clearly looking to make a statement in front of current light-heavyweight champion Jon 'Bones' Jones, who was in attendance as an analyst in the Fox booth with Curt Menefee and Randy Couture, is just happy to finally get his wish; a showdown against his former teammate in three months @ UFC 146 in Atlanta. Though Jones currently looks invincible, Evans looks like he may be his toughest test yet. Too bad that wasn't the fight featured on Fox; the UFC could have used it on this night.
There were two questions leading into the co-main event between middleweight (185 lbs.) contenders Chael Sonnen (28-11-1, 7 KO's 4 subs) and Michael 'The Count' Bisping (22-4, 14 KO's 4 subs). The first was who would impose their will in the fight, the grappler Sonnen or the striker Bisping? The other was would the fight live up to the hype the two biggest trash talkers in the UFC made it out to be?
The answer to the first question was the grappler, as Sonnen won a unanimous decision by being able to use his wrestling, albeit barely. As for question number two, unfortunately for the fans and for the UFC's second event on Fox, the answer was no. Sonnen hardly looked as dominant as he did in his last fight against Brian Stann and Michael Bisping, while putting up a good battle, hardly did much else to sway the judges.
While UFC President Dana White, ultimately got what he wanted as Sonnen will now get a rematch against middleweight champion Anderson Silva, most likely in Silva's home country of Brazil, he has to wonder if this performance will hurt the promotion of that fight at all. Sonnen on the other hand, in typical Sonnen fashion, did his part with a WWEesque type post fight interview. In the octagon he refused to answer Joe Rogan's question about the fight, instead asking Rogan, "How do you feel standing next to the greatness that is Chael Sonnen." Really?
In a surprising start of the card on Fox, middleweight grappling experts Demian Maia (15-4, 2 KO's 8 subs), a world champion Jiu-Jitsu player, and Chris Weidman (8-0, 2 KO's 3 subs), a former All-American wrestler, fought a three round affair standing. For some reason the two grapplers decided to duke it out as boxers and the result, as you can imagine, was a steady, but lethargic split decision win by the young upstart Weidman.
Stepping in on 11 days notice after Maia's original opponent Bisping was moved up to face Sonnen, Weidman barely hung on as he was totally gassed in the last round. To his credit though, he secured the only takedowns of the fight, which weren't many, and did attempt a submission or two. Maia meanwhile, who won his first five fights in the UFC via submission, is only (4-4) in his last eight fights, with the four wins coming by decision; maybe someone needs to remind him of what initially made him a threat and contender in the division, jiu-jitsu not boxing.
Finally, while styles make fights, the UFC brass, and Fox for that matter, cannot be happy with the way things turned out in prime time. I personally told and texted all the casual fans and friends I know to tune in to the free fights on Fox, in hopes that they would see what I'm always clamoring about; the fastest growing and most exciting sport in the world. I don't think I won over many new fans, if any, on this night.