The UFC returns to FOX this Saturday with a three-fight main card that could produce the next title contenders in two different divisions. It’s also packed with betting opportunities that will generously reward the risk-takers. And you’re not a chicken, are you? Huh? Bawk bawk bawwwwwk?? Yeah, that’s what we thought. So consider our UFC on FOX 2: Evans vs. Davis gambling advice after the jump, and be sure to come back for our liveblog, which kicks off at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. But first, the complete odds lineup, via BestFightOdds.com:
Our friend Marcos Villegas over at FightHubTV caught up with Michael Bisping ahead of his UFC on Fox 1 middleweight contender match-up this weekend and the brash Brit is not surprisingly confident of his chances Saturday night against Chael Sonnen, who he has been preparing to fight his whole life apparently.
“Well, you know…um… it’s a difficult match-up. There’s no two ways about it. Chael Sonnen is widely regarded as the number one contender and he’s closing in on a match with Anderson Silva. I was training for Demian Maia, who himself is a very, very dangerous opponent. He actually holds a very good win over Chael Sonnen. Demian Maia submitted Chael Sonnen. I’ve been training hard — as hard as humanly possible, to be honest, for my fight with Demian Maia. A fight with Chael Sonnen, there’s a lot of people out there who don’t want to take that fight,” he explained. “I didn’t think about it for a second. I jumped at the opportunity. I’m a fighter. This is what I do and I want to have the title. A lot of people said, ‘Oh, you’ve only got a week to prepare.’ I disagree. I’ve been preparing for this my whole life. I’ve been training in martial arts since I was about nine years old; I’ve been training hard for this fight. It doesn’t mean anything. At the end of the day, I don’t care about the style, we’re gonna get in there and fight and it’s gonna be who’s the better fighter. I believe I’m the better fighter, but we’ll see what happens…I believe this is my destiny to be world champion and Chael Sonnen’s in my way.”
“Let’s start with the obvious. One, he’s not the middleweight champion. He’s been beaten many, many times. He’s been submitted more times than I care to mention…the last time he lost a fight by submission, there was some issue involving performance enhancing drugs. Now, I don’t know what the deal is, you know, apparently he has one testicle. One testicle. This is why he uses performance enhancing drugs. I’m sorry…that’s not enough balls to fight me next week!”
“Chael’s biggest weapon is his mouth – but this ain’t no kissing contest and he isn’t going to talk me to death. Unlucky for him he can’t hurt me with his mouth in the Octagon and I am going to crush him. I’m in my prime and this is my time…
[H]is wrestling skills will be on point, I’m going to get the best Chael Sonnen possible, I know that. But his jiu-jitsu wont be too slick. Chael Sonnen can take me down if he likes, because I know I can submit him off my back. I know I can. That’s his big weakness. I may not have a black belt, but I consider myself a black belt. I’ve been rolling with Jake Shields, Dean Lister and a wash of other world champions. Believe me, if Chael Sonnen takes me down he better be prepared to get submitted.
Here you have it, folks, incontrovertible proof that The Great UFC Title Curse of 2011 has satiated its thirst for champions and is now moving on to any viable contender within sight. Dana White (via his Twitter) broke the news just a few minutes ago that Mark Munoz has suffered an unknown injury which has forced him to withdraw from his number one contender bout with Chael Sonnen, which was set to go down at the second UFC on FOX event in just 11 days. Taking his place will be none other than TUF 14 coach Michael Bisping.
Bisping, who most recently dominated opposing TUF 14 coach Jason “Mayhem” Miller back at the TUF 14 Finale in December, was originally scheduled to face Demian Maia at the same event, but has now catapulted himself into a marquee match-up against Sonnen for a crack at middleweight champ Anderson Silva. Maia has been left without an opponent as a result. Since dropping a unanimous decision to Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110, Bisping has collected four straight victories, including the aforementioned win over Jason Miller, a second round TKO of Jorge Rivera, and a pair of unanimous decisions over Dan Miller and Yoshihiro Akiyama.
Got an hour to spare? Then check out the full video of yesterday’s UFC on FOX 2 press conference, which was held at the United Center in Chicago and featured all six fighters that would be headlining the show. Here are some of the highlights, most of which belonged to the Gangster From West Linn:
Chael Sonnen on his checkered past: “I actually held public office, and I left the only way a person should — in handcuffs.”
Sonnen on his illegal kneebar during a college wrestling match with Mark Munoz: “Mark’s explanation of ‘heat of the moment’, I appreciate that but I can assure you it was a calculated and premeditated event, and I offer no apology. And secondly, I don’t even remember college. I’m driving around in a car with no insurance, a pocket with no money and the biggest thing on my mind was which kid to sit next to on exam day, so as far as a wrestling match, that was about the fourth thing on my mind. I assure you on January 28th, I will be ready. It will be one more in the win column, one more above the mantle, and one more for the bad guy.”
(I know they’re beautiful, Dominick, but just because you promised to get them on TV doesn’t mean they qualify as assistant coaches.)
The UFC announced yesterday that the fifteenth season of its reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, will feature current bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz and long time rival Urijah Faber as its coaches when it debuts on FX this March.
The pair last met in July at UFC 132, where “The Dominator” earned a unanimous decision nod and evened the score between the two in an exciting back-and-forth battle.Their initial meeting dates back over five years to the glory days of the WEC, where Faber scored a guillotine choke over the current champ within the first two minutes.
Since their UFC 132 Fight of the Night earning brawl, Cruz has scored another unanimous decision win over Demetrious Johnson, whereas Faber recently picked up a second round submission victory at UFC 139 over the man to lose the WEC bantamweight title to Cruz, Brian Bowles.
While Bisping is rolling on a four-fight win streak, Maia just got back to the win column in October with a unanimous decision over Jorge Santiago, which followed a decision loss to Mark Munoz. Maia is 3-1 overall since his disastrous title challenge against Anderson Silva at UFC 112. When he enters the cage next month, it will have been nearly three years since the former grappling phenom scored a submission in the Octagon — a triangle choke against none other than Chael Sonnen at UFC 95.