Sunday, 29 January 2012

UFC on Fox 2 in Restrospect

UFC on Fox 2 was a huge event for the UFC. Diminishing the importance of the fact that it was only the promotions second live event on Fox television, was that fact that two of the major divisions hung in the balance. Both the Middleweight division and the Light Heavyweight division had potential blockbuster title fights lined up - highly anticipated grudge matches that could pack arenas many times over, but before these could be made, the title challengers needed to negotiate some serious threats. En route to a title fight with ex teammate Jon Jones, Suga Rashad Evans was faced with undefeated Light Heavyweight prospect Phil Davis. While Chael Sonnen would have to negotiate Britain's Ultimate Fighter Season 3 winner Michael Bisping in order to get a second crack at pound for pound great and Middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Fortunately for the UFC and MMA fans around the world, the major fights from last nights UFC on Fox 2 event went as predicted (UFC on Fox 2 predictions), but that is not to say there weren't surprises. While both Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen got the job done in front of a packed United Center in Chicago Illinois, their opponents Phil Davis and Michael Bisping put up a lot more resistance than was initially expected. This leaves many questions surrounding the challengers as they head towards, what appear to be guaranteed title shots against dominant champions in their respective divisions.

Rashad Evans vs Phil Davis
Rashad Evans managed to outclass Phil Davis while standing and on the ground. The former Light Heavyweight champion had Davis in precarious positions more than once in their 5 round fight at UFC on Fox 2. Despite being so dominant, Suga Rashad Evans was unable to finish Mr Wonderful, who put up an admirable yet non threatening performance in the biggest fight of his young career. Evans would go on to win a shutout unanimous decision. While Evans was never in any trouble in this fight, and seemed to almost breeze through it, he did not do much to convince me that he is ready or able to take on current Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who is a much more aggressive and dangerous fighter than Davis. Still, I am glad that the fight will happen and we should be able to put all theory to bed in April 2012.

Chael Sonnen vs Michael Bisping
Chael Sonnen started with a bang, taking Bisping to the canvas seconds into their UFC on Fox 2 bout. Michael Bisping however, had different plans and immediately popped back up and took control of the fight. Bisping was able to dictate the fight for most of the first two rounds, and showed impressive clinch work and defence from his back. Still, Sonnen largely pressed the action and was able to take The Count down a few times in the opening rounds, without inflicting much damage. The third round however was all Sonnen, who was able to take Bisping down early and gain some advantageous positions. Although somewhat controversial, Sonnen won a unanimous decision on the judges scorecards. I personally think he won the fight, though I do think a the first two rounds could easily have gone either way. Although Sonnen's victory was not altogether convincing, a lot can be contributed to a very tough opponent in the commonly underestimated Michael Bisping. Sonnen also stated after the fight that Bisping was a better fighter than Silva. This however is irrelevant, as it is Sonnen himself who will once more do battle with Anderson "The Spider" Silva, likely in Brazil in June this year.


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