UFC on Fox: Next up for Evans is Jon Jones
( Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune / January 28, 2012 )
The Ultimate Fighting Championship blew into Chicago for UFC on Fox and it was Rashad Evans facing Phil Davis in a light-heavyweight bout at the United Center. The last time the UFC had held an event in Illinois was UFC 90 in 2008.
In the main event, Evans (22-1-1, 12-1-1 UFC) won a unanimous decision over Davis (9-1, 5-1 UFC). The five-round bout was scored 50-45. The loss was the first for Davis in his 10-fight career, but more surprisingly was the way in which he lost the fight, by being outwrestled.
Davis was a four-time NCAA Division I All-American at Penn State, so being outwrestled had to be a blow to his game plan.Davis standup was much improved from his previous bouts, but his lack of maturity as a complete MMA fighter was evident throughout the fight. His transitions from standup to takedowns were not as fluent as you would want facing an ex-champion in Evans. “MMA takedowns come down to transitions, so you can be the best college wrestler in the sport, but if you don't have good transitions from your punch to your takedowns then you're not going to have a good shot,” said Evans.
Evans also believes it was his experience in the cage that helped him win the decision. "I believe that he (Davis) needs a couple of more years before his stand up is better than mine," Evans said.With the win, Evans' next bout will come against UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones. The bout is scheduled to take place at UFC 145 in Atlanta at the Philips Arena on April 21.
This is a battle of former training partners under Greg Jackson's Submission Fighting. Evans left Jackson’s gym after it became apparent that the two would eventually have to fight for the title.Evans now fights out of Imperial Athetics (aka "Blackzilians”) in Boca Raton, Fla., a gym he co-founded with several Brazilian fighters.
On MMAjunkies.com, Evans said, "I want to put the rivalry to bed and more importantly get the chance to get my belt back," he said. "I think I can beat Jon Jones, and I see areas where I can capitalize."In the co-main event, Chael Sonnen (27-11-1, 6-4 UFC) took a unanimous decision over Michael Bisping (22-4, 12-4 UFC): 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
Sonnen knew he had take the fight to the canvas and score takedowns to win the bout. But to his dismay the Brit Bisping found his way back on his feet throughout the fight. Often using the cage to get back on his feet and in the standing position throughout the first and second rounds.
In the third round, Sonnen tried to keep the bout in the center of the cage, so that Bisping couldn’t use the cage to stand back up. With the win, Sonnen secures a rematch with the middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Never a loss for words, Sonnen believes Silva is a myth created by the media. “The myth the media has created, has created nothing short of jealousy for me. You’re finding out why jealousy is one of the 'Seven Deadly Sins,' ” he said. “I’m jealous of him and it has created an anger and I’m going to bring him down and I make no apology.”Sonnen was asked about fighting the bout in Silva’s home country of Brazil. “I’m not fighting him in Brazil, I’m not fighting in Chicago, I’m not fighting in Vegas, I’m fighting in the octagon,” he said. “They can set that thing up any where they want, I have never not shown up and I have never backed down and this will not be the first.”
Sonnen delivered a message to the fans, “He’s the champion, but I’m the best.”
An earlier version of this article had the name of Submission Fighting's Greg Jackson incorrect.
The full undercard results:
Chris Camozzi won by submission (Guillotine Choke) over Dustin Jacoby at 1:08 of the third round.
Lavar Johnson won by KO (Punches) over Joey Beltran at 4:24 of the first round.
Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision over Shane Roller.Charles Oliveira won by submission (Calf Slicer) over Eric Wisely at 1:43 of the first round.
Cub Swanson won by TKO (Punches) over George Roop at 2:22 of the second round.Mike Russow won by unanimous decision over John Olav Einemo.
Evan Dunham won by TKO (Doctor Stoppage) over Nik Lentz at 5:00 of the second round.
Chris Weidan won by unanimous decision over Demian Maia.