A Newbie's Guide to UFC on Fox 2
With the Ultimate Fighting Championship making its second debut on network TV, there's still those who are going to be exposed to mixed martial arts for the first time. The three fights featured on the main card have exciting potential, but lack the name recognition to draw causal fan interest. But have no fear, as reading this preview should make you the smartest UFC fan in the room on Saturday night.
The first bout on Fox features top Middleweight contender Demian Maia against late minute replacement Chris Weidman. Because Mark Munoz suffered an elbow injury, Maia's old opponent Michael Bisping got moved up the card to face Chael Sonnen. Despite the change, this bout will answer the question whether or not Weidman can compete with the elite of the Middleweight division. Weidman has great credentials as he is a two-time Division I All-American and has competed at the highest level of submission grappling tournaments. After becoming a high-rated Middleweight prospect on many MMA blog sites, Weidman has gone 3-0 in the UFC, including two 1st round submissions. Meanwhile, Demian Maia has several more fights than Weidman and has fought against the Middleweight champion, Anderson Silva. Maia started out winning five straight UFC matches by submission, but since his lost to Silva, has failed to finish his last four opponents. The experience and striking edge lies with Maia, but Weidman has a style that could carry him toward the upset. Look for Maia to show some improved striking, and for Weidman to surprise Maia with multiple submission attempts.
It's a sham Michael “The Count” Bisping and Chael Sonnen only had a week and half to promote their fight, because the trash talk would have legendary. Known as one of the hated fighters in the UFC, Bisping has had some most noteworthy moments in UFC history. From suffering one of its most brutal knockouts, from Dan Henderson, to most multiple appearances on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show, now is the time to determine if “The Count” can truly deliver. As for Sonnen, he's the only man to make Anderson Silva look human. He was within seconds of getting a unanimous decision but got caught by a last minute triangle choke. Prior to fighting in the UFC, Sonnen was best known for his bizarre fights with Paulo Filho in the WEC. Since then, Sonnen has mastered the ability to sell every fight he's in and still beat up top fighters in the cage. In order to capitalize on his highly anticipated rematch against Anderson Silva, he can't afford to overlook Bisping. The Count has great takedown defense, but not enough to defend the constant pressure and should be finished by the signature ground and pound of Sonnen.
Rashad Evans has a chance to finally gain his long awaited title shot if he defeats Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis. After multiple injuries and questionable decisions, Evans has a chance to display his new skills earned with his new team, the Blackzilians, while generating buzz for a grudge match against former friend and champion Jon Jones. Because of the backstory and animosity between Evans and Jones, Davis has been completely ignored. Despite that Davis has an undefeated record and tons of potential with his wrestling and athleticism, many fans and critics don't think he's worthy to be an elite fighter. While Davis' weakness is his striking, he's shown the ability to improve every time he's in the octagon. In order to beat Evans, Davis will have to be able to hang and even threaten Evans on the feet. If he's tentative or hesitant, Evans should cruise to a easy victory, but if Davis can display improvement similar to Jon Jones, maybe it's a “Wonderful” upset for Davis. It all starts at 6 p.m. MST on Fox.