UFC on FOX 2: Evans vs. Davis – Preview & Event Coverage
By Justin Bolduc
This weekend the UFC returns to Fox for the second time, but this time around will air three bouts on the main card instead of one. The rest of the card, as has become the norm, will air for free with one bout taking place on the UFC’s official Facebook page and the remaining airing on Fuel TV.
In the main event former UFC light heavyweight champion and The Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Rashad Evans faces undefeated prospect Phil Davis. UFC president Dana White has stated if Evans beats Davis he will receive a shot at rival Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title.
Under the main event is a highly-anticipated middleweight bout between Chael Sonnen and The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Michael Bisping. Sonnen was originally scheduled to face Mark Munoz, but an injury forced Munoz from the card. Bisping was preparing to fight Demian Maia, but was then shifted into a number one contender bout with Sonnen. Maia remains on the UFC on Fox 2 card and now faces hot prospect Chris Weidman who steps in on only eleven-days notice.
The sole Facebook bout features middleweights Chris Camozzi and Dustin Jacoby. Kicking off the Fuel TV broadcast are heavyweights Joey Beltran and Lavar Johnson. The Ultimate Fighter 12 finalist Michael Johnson appears against WEC stand-out Shane Roller, while Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira attempts to snap a three-fight winless streak against Eric Wisely.
The Fuel TV broadcast features PDG’s Match-Up of the Night between WEC stand-out Cub Swanson and the always game George Roop. Heavyweight Jon Olav Einemo takes on Mike Russow and lightweights Evan Dunham and Nik Lentz round out the preliminary card.
Rashad Evans (16-1-1) vs. Phil Davis (9-0)
Rashad Evans (11-1-1 UFC) first made a name for himself by winning the second season of The Ultimate Fighter as a heavyweight. Evans quickly transitioned to the light heavyweight division and earned a 7-1-1 mark with the promotion to earn a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title.
Entering his title shot against Forrest Griffin, Evans had already compiled notable wins over former UFC champion Chuck Liddell, The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Michael Bisping, and The Ultimate Fighter 1 finalist Stephan Bonnar. Evans made the most of his title shot, knocking out Griffin with ground and pound in the third round. In Evans’ first title defense, however, he was knocked out in his sole career loss by Lyoto Machida in the second round.
Evans rebounded with a decision win over highly-regarded Thiago Silva before appearing as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter opposite former UFC champion and PRIDE star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Following the conclusion of the show the two fought with Evans edging out a unanimous decision. Most recently Evans stopped former UFC champion Tito Ortiz with a knee to the body and punches in the second round at UFC 133 in August.
Phil Davis (5-0 UFC) entered mixed martial arts as a stand-out wrestler at Penn State. Davis joined the UFC with a perfect 4-0 professional record, including two TKO’s and one submission. In his UFC debut he rode out a one-sided unanimous decision over former WEC champion Brian Stann.
Davis continued to gain momentum with a first round anaconda choke submission over fellow prospect Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 112. “Mr. Wonderful” then earned a unanimous decision over Rodney Wallace before submitting Tim Boestch with a kimura inside the second round. Most recently Davis earned the biggest win of his career by decision over former PRIDE star Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
While wrestling collegiately, Davis earned an NCAA Div I national championship was a four-time All-American. On top of his impressive 116-17 collegiate wrestling record, Davis also earned a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Lloyd Irvin. Davis won the no-gi worlds in the blue belt division in 2009.
Chael Sonnen (26-11-1) vs. Michael Bisping (22-3)
Chael Sonnen (5-4 UFC) initially earned a reputation as a tough wrestler with lackluster submission defense until he joined the WEC. In the WEC he lost a controversially by submission against Paulo Filho, but was able to win a rematch by decision. When the WEC dissolved it’s heavier weight classes, including middleweight, Sonnen re-joined the UFC ranks. Sonnen had become more well-known at this point for his pre and post-fight comments, trash-talk, and humor.
In his return to the UFC, Sonnen was submitted by Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia. He was able to rebound however and earned one-sided decisions over Dan Miller, Yushin Okami, and Nate Marquardt. The impressive streak earned Sonnen a shot at UFC champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen dominated Silva over four and a half rounds before succumbing to a hail Mary triangle choke from the champion.
Following the loss Sonnen submitted former WEC champion Brian Stann with a first round arm-triangle choke. Sonnen owns additional notable career victories over Trevor Prangley, Tim McKenzie, Tim Credeur, Amar Suloev, and Bryan Baker.
Michael Bisping (22-3) has become one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster, but has proven himself to be a top-ten middleweight in the world. Bisping won season three of The Ultimate Fighter as an undefeated light heavyweight and continued to fight at that weight despite being undersized.
After four successful appearances at 205 pounds, Bisping suffered the first loss of his career against fellow TUF winner Rashad Evans. The loss prompted Bisping to drop to middleweight where he stopped Charles McCarthy and Jason Day and then earned a decision over Chris Leben. Bisping was then knocked out by former PRIDE champion Dan Henderson, but was then able to stop PRIDE’s 2006 Welterweight Grand Prix finalist Denis Kang.
Bisping then lost a unanimous decision to former PRIDE champion Wanderlei Silva, but has since rattled off four straight wins. Bisping rebounded with a decision over former IFL champion Dan Miller, then earned a decision over international sensation Yoshihiro Akiyama. Bisping then stopped Jorge Rivera in a controversial bout before appearing as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. Bisping most recently faced fellow coach Jason “Mayhem” Miller, stopping his opponent with ground and pound inside the distance.
Demian Maia (15-3) vs. Chris Weidman (7-0)
UFC on Fox 2 Main Card Bout
Demian Maia (9-3 UFC) entered mixed martial arts as one of the world’s greatest Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners. Maia joined the UFC with a perfect 9-0 record which included two TKO’s and three submissions and wins over Gustavo Machado and Fabio Nascimento.
In his first four UFC appearances Maia impressed with submissions over Ryan Jensen, Ed Herman, Jason MacDonald, and Chael Sonnen. He then suffered the first loss of his career by knockout to Nate Marquardt, but was able to rebound with a win over Dan Miller. Maia then challenged Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title, but fell short in a close decision.
After the loss Maia was able to string together a pair of wins over Mario Miranda and The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Kendall Grove, but was then edged out by Mark Munoz. Most recently Maia beat former Sengoku champion Jorge Santiago by unanimous decision at UFC 136.
Chris Weidman (3-0 UFC) joined the UFC after fighting his first four professional bouts exclusively in Ring of Combat. Weidman used his time in the smaller show to earn a first round submission and two first round TKO’s, along with a three-round unanimous decision.
In his UFC debut Weidman utilized his wrestling background to earn a unanimous decision over Italy’s Alessio Sakara. He then secured a first round guillotine choke over Jesse Bongfeldt before most recently earning the biggest win of his career by submitting “Filthy” Tom Lawlor with a d’arce choke in only 2:07.
Weidman, who trains under former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra and coach Ray Longo, holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and was an NCAA Div I wrestler. During his collegiate wrestling career he was a two-time NJCAA All-American and a two-time NCAA Div I All-American.
* In PDG’s Match-Up of the Night WEC stand-out Cub Swanson (15-5) takes on George Roop (12-8-1). Swanson (0-1 UFC) enters his second UFC appearance coming off a submission loss against Ricardo Lamas in his UFC debut. Prior to joining the UFC ranks Swanson had compiled a 6-3 record in the WEC with wins over Dream featherweight champion Hiroyuki Takaya, Micah Miller, and Donny Walker. Roop (2-4 UFC) enters Saturday’s bout off a close loss to highly-regarded Hatsu Hioki. Roop, who appeared on season eight of The Ultimate Fighter, owns notable knockout victories over “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung and Josh Grispi.
* In a feature lightweight bout Evan Dunham (12-2) and Nik Lentz (21-4-2, 1 NC) battle for their spot in the 155-pound ranks. Dunham (5-2 UFC) recently snapped a two-fight losing streak against Sean Sherk and Melvin Guillard by out-pointing Shamar Bailey. Prior to his two-fight skid, Dunham quickly rose as a hot prospect with wins over Per Eklund, Marcus Aurelio, Efrain Escudero, and Tyson Griffin. Lentz (5-1-1, 1 NC UFC) enters Saturday’s bout off his first loss in the UFC against Mark Bocek. Lentz had found himself on a four-fight win streak before a no contest against Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira and his recent loss. Lentz owns notable victories over Tyson Griffin, Andre Winner, and Drew Fickett.
* In a highly-anticipated heavyweight bout Jon Olav Einemo (6-2) gets his second shot in the UFC against Mike Russow (14-1, 1 NC). Einemo (0-1 UFC), a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist, enters his second UFC appearance after losing his promotional debut to Dave Herman. Einemo’s most notable career victory came against James Thompson. Russow (3-0 UFC) enters this weekend’s bout on a ten-fight win streak, including wins over Jason Guida and Roman Zentsov. Three of those wins have also come under the UFC banner, with a decision over Justin McCully in his promotional debut, a knockout over Todd Duffee, and most recently a doctor’s stoppage over Jon Madsen.
UFC on Fox 2 Fight Card
Main Card (Fox):
Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis (Main Event)
Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping (Number One Contender Bout)
Demian Maia vs. Chris Weidman
Preliminary Card (Fuel TV):
Evan Dunham vs. Nik Lentz
Mike Russow vs. Jon Olav Einemo
George Roop vs. Cub Swanson (PDG’s Match-Up of the Night)
Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira vs. Eric Wisely
Shane Roller vs. Michael Johnson
Joey Beltran vs. Lavar Johnson
Preliminary Card (Facebook):
Chris Camozzi vs. Dustin Jacoby
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