It seems that with the UFC on FOX things haven’t gone the way they thought they would With the first official card on the network and airing from Chicago the hype was there but the Main Card failed to live up to it.
18,000 plus were in attendance when the first fight started off at 3:30pm and the crowd was buzzing when Chris Camozzi defeated Dustin Jacoby via guillotine choke. Even the preliminary fights on FUEL-TV were excellent and building up nicely for the 3 fights, that the entire night was based on. Unfortunately, the fights weren’t up to what many thought were “primetime television”.
The thing is with MMA anything can happen and this statement will always be true because you just never know what will develop. Let’s breakdown the 3 fights and why that little “extra” was missing.
Demian Maia/Chris Weidman
It looked like the 10 days that Weidman was given to prepare for this fight wasn’t needed as he handled Maia pretty well. Maia looked emotionally and physically drained after the first round and didn’t look to have the strength to rebound the rest of the fight. Weidman picked up a big win to stay undefeated while Maia drops lower in the Middleweight Division.
Fast Fact: The decision loss that Maia suffered, is his 7th straight fight that has gone the distance.
Chael Sonnen/Michael Bisping
With the very little amount of time for trash talking that these two had, it would come down to the fight to let their actions speak. This fight also went the distance and it was a very technical fight, considering everybody thought Sonnen would steamroll through this fight. Bisping really showed that he had a great butterfly guard, and his ground defense was fantastic.
This fight could have gone either way, but if I’m a betting man the UFC is happy that Sonnen was given the nod so he can fight in Brazil. You can’t look at this as a big loss for Bisping in terms of rankings because I can see him getting a title shot after he winning another fight.
Fast Fact: Sonnen attempted 7 takedowns and only getting 4 for a 57% success rate. He also landed 135 strikes during the fight.
Rashad Evans/Phil Davis
Was it too much too soon for Davis? It seemed that way as Davis, even though with the reach advantage had no answer for the superior fighter in Rashad Evans. Evans really looked like a man on a mission on gaining that title shot against Jon Jones and really used his wrestling to pick up the decision win. Davis still being the young fighter that he is shouldn’t take away the negatives from this fight. He is still is a great fighter and even though suffering his first loss will be back in the Octagon real soon.
Fast Fact: With this win Evans runs his winning streak to 4. 3 out of his last 4 fights however, have come of the way of unanimous decision.
Star of the Night
Policeman Mike Russow earned a decision victory in his hometown and was all smiles after the fight. He was surprised the takedowns were that easy to obtain and wanted to continue to work on things even with the victory .He is currently 4-0 in the UFC and heads back into the police car on Wednesday.
The ratings for the show were 42% better than any other show on FOX in the last 4 weeks. The official numbers haven’t been released but the word is that they will be much higher. This is great news for not only the UFC but for FOX who just began their contract earlier this month.
The preliminary fights like I said earlier were fantastic and the three main events were lacking that extra punch that everybody was looking for in attendance and watching at home. But you can’t always win with the fans and looking at the fights in paper, it looked to be nothing but finishes in at least two out of the three fights. Diehard fans had to be impressed with the Bisping and Sonnen fight with the technical skills really being shown. I’m sure FOX is happy with how the product was delivered and the set design was beautifully articulated.
I would take this card over the miserable UFC 90 card that took place at the Allstate Arena. Fights sometimes will be the way of decision but you can’t take anything from the fighters. Sure many fans were displeased with the decisions that occurred but looking at the whole card, they got their money's worth.
Hopefully the new fans that watched were intrigued and continue to support the fastest growing sport in the world. It was a great night in downtown Chicago and hopefully in another year it happens all over again.