“The House that Jordan Built” is sold out for the UFC’s return to Fox, which features three times as many televised fights as its Fox debut. Can Chris Weidman make a name for himself against Demian Maia? Will Chael Sonnen challenge Anderson Silva to a casket match after tonight’s fight? Does Phil Davis establish himself as a contender at light-heavyweight, or does Rashad Evans set himself up to get overlooked for yet another title shot? We’ll answer all this and more as it unfolds.
Handling liveblogging duties tonight is Seth Falvo, who will be watching the event with some old friends. Please direct all complaints about spelling and grammar, comments about the liveblogger’s sexual preference and unrelated conspiracy theories directly at him. Spoilers after the jump.
Good evening, Potato Nation. Glad to see you all here. I’m about to cut to the chase and put my hands on the undercard results worse than Rashad Evans is about to put his hands on Phil Davis. What, where did you think I was going with that one?
Evan Dunham vs. Nik Lentz
Mike Russow def. Jon Olav Einemo via unanimous decision
Cub Swanson def. George Roop via second-round TKO
Charles Oliveira def. Eric Wisely via submission (calf-crusher)
Michael Johnson def. Shane Roller via unanimous decision
Lavar Johnson def. Joey Beltran via first-round KO
Chris Camozzi def. Dustin Jacoby via submission (guillotine choke)
And we are live! Don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad that I did not have to sit through that gladiator suiting up yet again. But if we’re replacing that with the robots that were cheesy when the NFL started using them, then I’m going to start tuning in two minutes late.
Chris Weidman vs. Demian Maia
Round One: They touch gloves and we’re underway. After about thirty seconds of feeling out to begin the round, as Weidman rushes in with an overhand right and Maia trips. Weidman is doing a good job slipping Maia’s punches, but isn’t landing anything in return. Weidman lands a right hand, and Maia answers with a knee. Nice 1-2 from Weidman. He attempts a Superman punch, but Maia avoids it entirely. They briefly clinch, but Weidman pushes Maia away. Dear lord Maia is throwing some huge left hands, but none of them are connecting. Weidman gets a takedown with one minute left in the round, but Maia gets back to his feet. They clinch with thirty seconds left in the round, and Maia lands a knee. They are hesitant to exchange as the round ends.
Round Two: Weidman with a nice takedown early. Maia gets back up, and they’re back in the center of the cage. Weidman almost catches a kick from Maia, and answers with a leg kick of his own. Maia looks very stiff out there. Nice overhand left from Maia. And another. Weidman lands an inside leg kick, and the crowd starts to boo the lack of action. They clinch and exchange knees, and we’re back to both fighters treating the fight more like a sparring session. Head kick attempt from Weidman. Weidman goes for a double leg takedown, but Maia stuffs it. They clinch against the cage, and the crowd does not sound pleased. Weidman lands another takedown with twenty seconds remaining, and attempts a guillotine as the round comes to an end.
Round Three: Weidman looks gassed, but Maia doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to take advantage of this. Weidman with a takedown against the cage, but ends up in Maia’s guard. They stand and clinch, with Weidman attempting a takedown that Maia stuffs. A sloppy takedown attempt from Maia gets stuffed. Maia attempts yet another takedown, which Weidman stuffs, but lets Maia back to his feet. Rogan says, and I quote, “This fight has degenerated to a sloppy kickboxing competition”. The crowd is definitely not impressed, as both guys look too exhausted to capitalize. One minute remaining, as Weidman lands an overhand right. Maia is bleeding from his right eyebrow, and has his hands at his waist. Sorry, Mike Goldberg, but I don’t think he’s taunting Weidman so much as he’s downright gassed. This one mercifully comes to an end to a chorus of boos from the Chicago fans.
Sheesh. The casual fan viewing this “U.F.C. stuff” for the first time cannot be impressed. Let’s see how the judges saw it…
Chris Weidman def. Demian Maia via split decision.
We’ve got promos from Michael Bisping and Chael Sonnen. Hopefully Bisping’s fight is closer than these promos. Sonnen absolutely crushed him.
Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping
We hear that this is “one of the few times when Chael Sonnen may have the crowd on his side” as Sonnen makes his way to the cage. Um, what? Eh, I’ll allow it after that questionable editing job during Bisping’s pre-fight hype video.
Round One: Sonnen immediately gets a takedown, but Bisping gets back to his feet. Bisping gets poked, but the fight continues, as Sonnen works for another takedown. Bisping is doing a good job stuffing it, as the first “USA! USA! USA!” chant of the fight breaks out. Sonnen eventually gets another takedown, but Bisping gets back up and they clinch against the cage. They break, but Sonnen blitzes Bisping and pins him against the cage. Nice reversal from Bisping, who now has Chael against the cage. They separate, and Bisping attempts a spinning back kick. Sonnen pins Bisping against the cage, as Bisping keeps grapping Sonnen’s shorts. Bisping pins Sonnen against the cage again (?!), as the two exchange knees. The two exchange in the center of the cage, with Bisping getting the better of the standup as the round comes to an end.
Round Two: Sonnen looks, dare I say, respectful of Bisping’s standup at the start of the round. Sonnen manages to pin Bisping against the cage, but Bisping reverses yet again. Bisping lands a knee from the clinch, as they are separated. Sonnen lands a double leg takedown, as Bisping tries to grab the cage to help himself back up. Bisping appears to be cut. They’re back on their feet, and Bisping lands a nice overhand right. Again, Bisping has Sonnen pinned against the cage. Bisping goes for a single leg takedown, but Sonnen stuffs it. Sonnen is completely out of his element, and is throwing short, all arm punches as Bisping keeps him against the cage. Sonnen escapes, and they trade punches as the round comes to an end.
Round Three: Sonnen lands a big overhand left and gets a double leg takedown as the round begins. Sonnen in in Bisping’s guard, but not really landing anything significant. Bisping grabs the cage yet again, and gives up his back as he tries to stand up. Sonnen gets both hooks in, and is looking for the rear-naked choke. Sonnen gets full mount, and is searching for the arm triangle. Bigping does a good job to escape, but Sonnen manages to keep him down and ends up in half-guard. With one minute left, Bisping has full guard and the crowd is starting to boo. Bisping attempts to wall walk his way up the cage, and manages to do so with twenty seconds left. Bisping gets a takedown (?!) as this round comes to an end.
Wow. Did not see that coming. Bisping was in total control throughout that one. Let’s see if the judges agree.
They don’t. Chael Sonnen defeats Michael Bisping by unanimous decision. Somewhere, Matt Hamill is smiling.
A controversial decision and two middleweights reenacting the third round of Hunt vs. Rothwell for fifteen minutes? Sheesh, good thing my aforementioned old friends are keeping me entertained.
I will say this much, the Rashad Evans pre-fight promo more than makes up for how bad Michael Bisping’s was. I genuinely liked watching that one.
Naturally, Jon Jones is asked for comment. He jokes about swaggerjacking Rashad’s training methods. His nervous laughter, however, implies that he’s totally not joking.
And now for our main event:
Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis
I really hope Phil Davis didn’t pick his own entrance music. I’d like to believe he doesn’t listen to the stuff I pretend to like at dance clubs to get himself ready for a fight. But I digress.
Round One: Nice leg kick by Phil Davis, followed up with a kick to the body. Another 1-2 from Davis, punctuated with a hard leg kick. Davis lands another leg kick and slips, as Rashad then clinches. They break, with neither guy landing anything of significance. Inside leg kick from Davis, as the two exchange punches, with Evans seemingly getting the better of the exchange. Is it just me, or did Goldberg just imply that if Davis wins, Hendo may get the next title shot? Huh. Evans with a takedown, landing in the half guard of Phil Davis. Rashad moves to side control, and gets the mounted crucifix with thirty seconds left in the round. Davis manages to escape, but Evans still has him on the ground as this round comes to an end.
Regardless of what happens, a Blackzilian will not lose to a first round rear-naked choke tonight. So there’s that, I guess.
Round Two: Davis looks for a head kick, but misses. Evans with a 1-2, but Davis manages to avoid the follow-up punches. They briefly clinch, as Davis lands a knee. Davis throws a kick, but Evans checks it. Rashad blitzes Davis, and pins him against the cage. Nice right hands from Evans, but Davis manages to circle away. Davis slips a punch from Evans, and misses with a haymaker of his own. Nice knee from Davis. With roughly thirty seconds remaining, Evans catches a kick and takes Davis down. Evans is in side control as this one comes to an end.
Round Three: Davis looks for a single leg takedown, but Evans stuffs it. Evans manages to break free, only to be pressed against the cage. Davis looks for a single leg against the cage, and eventually gets it. Evans works towards his feet, and reverses position on Davis. Evans takes Phil’s back, but Davis escapes. They’re back on their feet, clinching against the cage, with Evans controlling Davis. Davis desperately lunges for a takedown, which Evans avoids. Evans has Davis back against the cage. Davis tries to circle away, but Evans stays aggressive. Davis eventually gets the takedown, but Rashad scrambles back to his feet. Davis now has Evans pinned against the cage, and is landing knees to Rashad’s thigh. Davis is content to let this round end clinching against the cage with Evans.
Round Four: Nice kick by Davis. Double jab from Rashad, with Davis landing another body kick. Evans is using his jab nicely to keep Davis away. The crowd is starting to boo, as Rashad is outjabbing Phil Davis. Davis attempts a head kick, but Evans blocks it and pins Davis against the cage. Davis gets free, but he can’t get the takedown he’s looking for. Another takedown attempt from Davis sees Evans take Phil’s back, but Phil Davis is back on his feet. Evans keeps Davis against the cage with forty five seconds remaining in the round and attempts a takedown, but a nice sprawl from Davis sees both men back in the center of the cage. Evans lands a nice counter right hand as this round comes to an end.
Round Five: More kicks from Davis, but Evans is checking them well. The crowd boos, as Davis attempts a kick. Evans catches it, and takes Davis down. Phil Davis is bleeding from his mouth and his shin. Evans gets another crucifix. Davis escapes, but gives up his back to Evans. Davis manages to stand up, and the two exchange jabs in the center of the cage. Evans rocks Davis with an overhand right, causing him to lunge desperately for a takedown. They clinch against the cage as the crowd boos again. Davis breaks free and attempts a head kick. With thirty seconds left in the fight, Davis lands a body kick but seems hesitant to follow up with anything. Evans jabs at Davis as this one comes to an end.
Evans was too much for Davis tonight. If the judges don’t agree with me this time, I may have to make sure I’m watching the right channel.
Rashad Evans def. Phil Davis via unanimous decision.
Jon Jones seems happy with the outcome, even though he doesn’t “fight people’s names, [he] just fights people’s bodies”. I would offer more comments, but then Chris would have nothing to write about tomorrow. Enjoy your evenings, and come back tomorrow. We’ll have plenty to discuss.