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January 29, 2012

UFC on Fox: Next up for Evans is Jon Jones

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( 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.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 8:25 AM | | Comments (2)
        

January 17, 2012

UFC Mark Munoz is out against Chael Sonnen

The UFC is reporting that middleweight Mark Munoz has sustained an injury and is out of the UFC of Fox 2 fight card. His replacement for the Jan. 28 fight against American Chael Sonnen (27-1-1) will be British fighter Michael Bisping (23-3-0), with the winner getting a chance to fight Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title.

Bisping was already scheduled for fight on the card that night against Demian Maia. Bisping's biggest concern now will be his fighting strategy. He was preparing to fight a jiu-jitsu fighter and now will be taking on a world-class wrestler in Sonnen.

"UFC on FOX 2: Rashad Evans versus Phil Davis" takes place at the United Center in Chicago.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 6:28 PM | | Comments (1)
        

January 15, 2012

UFC 142: Featherweight champion Jose Aldo was awesome

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (21-1, 3-0 UFC) has solidified himself as one of the top three, pound-for-pound fighters in the world, with his impressive knockout victory over American Chad Mendes (11-1, 2-1 UFC).

Aldo’s win came in front of his fans at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Saturday at UFC 142.

Each week MMA fighters are judged by writers and fans as the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. After Aldo’s performance it would be hard not to consider him as one of the top three fighters in the world, behind Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. 

Going into the fight Mendes knew he had to take Aldo down to have a chance at winning the title. For the first four minutes of the fight, both guys exchanged leg kicks. Mendes, a member of Team Alpha Male gym, tried a double-leg takedown and was able to get the champion down but for only a moment.  Mendes was able to transition to a rear waistlock on Aldo and tried to pick the champion up to slam him, but Aldo grabbed the cage and was warned by referee Mario Yamasaki.  

As the round was coming to an end, Mendes remained at Aldo’s back. With only seconds left in the round Aldo spun around and threw a knee that landed on the jaw of Mendes, knock him to the canvas. Aldo then connected with two hard right-handed punches before Yamasaki could stop the damage. The fight officially ended with just one second left in the opening round.

"I knew he was going to go for my legs, and I knew I had to throw that knee,” Aldo said through a translator. “Thankfully, I put it on the right spot.” 

After a bout, most fighters parade around the cage and receive congratulations from their corner. But not Aldo, he bolted into the crowd and for a moment was lost in the sea of Brazilian fans that came to cheer him.

“My fans give me so much love and so much good energy so there’s nothing better than celebrating with them,” Aldo said. 

In the co-main event, UFC veteran Vitor Belfort stopped American Anthony “Rumble” Johnson with a choke submission at 4:49 of the first round. The Brazilian Belfort first fought in the octagon at UFC 12 in 1997.  His opponent at UFC 142, Johnson was just 12 years old in 1997.  Belfort was better known as “The Phenom” at that time, a black belt in jiu-jitsu under his adopted father, the legendary Carlson Gracie.

Despite having a jiu-jitsu background, this was the first submission win for Belfort in 11 years. He took down Bobby Southworth by rear-naked choke back in 2001.

Belfort's plan for the fight was to have Johnson quit.

"Anthony is a very strong guy, he kept shooting on me (trying to take me down) I (just) block(ed) him. The plan was to make him quit or knock him out,” Belfort said.

His plan almost didn’t come to fruition. The day before the fight, Johnson got sick and couldn’t make the required weight. He was fighting for the first time at 185 pounds, he normally fight at 170 pounds. Becasue of the illness, he showed up at the weigh-in at 197 pounds.  

Belfort questioned Johnson's professionalism, “The guy was not even professional he didn’t make weight, not even close," Belfort said.

Next for Belfort is fellow Brazilian Wanderlei Silva. He first fought Silva at UFC 17.5 Ultimate Brazil in 1998 and won in spectacular fashion in 44 seconds.  This time they will both be coaches on the UFC reality series “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.” 

The full undercard results:   

Felipe Arantes won by unanimous decision over Antonio Carvalho.

Mike Pyle won by TKO (Knee and Punches) over Ricardo Funch at 1:22 of the first round.  

Yuri Alcantara won by unanimous decision over Michihiro Omigawa.

Gabriel Gonzaga won by submission (Rear-Naked Choke) over Ednaldo Oliveira at 3:22 of the first round.  

Thiago Tavares won by unanimous decision over Sam Stout.

Edson Barboza won by KO (Spinning Wheel Kick) over Terry Etim at 2:02 of the third round.  

Carlo Prater won by DQ (Punches to Back of Head) over Erick Silva at 0:29 of the first round.

Rousimar Palhares won by submission (heel hook) over Mike Massenzio at 1:03 of the first round. 

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 8:23 AM | | Comments (0)
        
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Kevin Richardson has been a fan of mixed martial arts competition ever since UFC 3, when 600-pound sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough was beaten by Keith Hackney. Kevin will cover the world of MMA — in Baltimore, nationally and internationally. He plans to take readers into the locker rooms and MMA schools, where they'll hear from local fighters and trainers. If you have a news tip or suggestions for the blog, please e-mail him.

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