Monday, 30 January 2012

UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs Davis on ESPN - TV Review

It’s time to step into the Octagon once again as we take a look at the latest offering from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, with Rashad Evans taking on Phil Davis in the main event of UFC on Fox 2, shown live in the early hours of this past Sunday morning on ESPN here in Britain.

The broadcast began with the first of two middleweight fights as Demian Maia went up against Chris Weidman.

This certainly was a very interesting encounter. As good as he has been in the past Maia looked a shadow of his former self. His striking looked one dimensional, and Weidman worked him out easily early on, taking control of the striking game and scoring with a couple of take downs in the first two rounds.

By the time the third round started both men looked exhausted, which wasn’t surprising as far as Weidman was concerned, mainly because he took the fight at short notice. But it was surprising as far as Maia was concerned. The pace slowed down considerably, and it didn’t exactly make for interesting viewing.

So with the fight going the distance it went down to the judges Weidman took the split decision.

The second middleweight encounter saw Chael Sonnen taking on Michael Bisping.

Now this was a lot better. Bisping put in a good performance in the first two rounds, and even though Sonnen managed to score with the take downs the Brit showed some great defensive work before controlling his man up against the cage.

It was only in the third round that Sonnen really came to life with a take down. From there he controlled the fight on the ground, frustrating Bisping, taking the mount and his back at various points. Bisping’s only real offensive action came towards the end of the round when he finally managed a take down of his own.

Once again the judges were called into action as Sonnen took the unanimous decision. Two of the judges gave it to Sonnen by one round, while the other gave him everything, leading me to wonder if he was actually watching Bisping’s performance.

As for Sonnen’s post match interview, I’ll put it this way. The great Muhammad Ali took inspiration from legendary professional wrestler “Gorgeous” George Wagner. Has Sonnen been watching old Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tapes?

The main event featured light heavyweight action as Rashad Evans went up against Phil Davis.

While this may not have been one of the most flashy fights I’ve ever seen it was a very intriguing encounter.

Evans looked a whole class above Evans throughout each and every round. His striking was a lot better and his ground work was good, even though he never managed to go for any submissions.

Davis had a few good moments but when these happened Evans soon regained control, whether it be in the stand up or on the ground.

The only down point in this fight was that Evans didn’t get the finish, so the judges were called upon once again as all three judges gave the fight to Evans.

In conclusion - the UFC’s third foray into the land of Fox gave us a mixed bag of fight action.

The opener was a little disappointing, but the final two fights were far more satisfying as Chael Sonnen once again entertained us with his pro wrestling persona and Rashad Evans’ performance was good if unspectacular.

So while UFC on Fox 2 gets the thumbs up it doesn’t get the big thumbs up I always seem to give UFC shows.