A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
MMA and Fox
In the first minute and half of the first round, the action began slowly as both fighters felt each other even though Maia managed a couple of knees. At two minute mark Weidman missed an opportunity to take Maia down as Maia twisted away. The first take down came as Weidman threw Maia down to the ground but this lasted briefly as Maia managed to escape.
Weidman took the edge in the opening minutes of the second round with his striking ability as both men seem content to stand and fight. Maia could not seem to be able to penetrate Weidman defenses. In the last minute, Weidman grabbed the leg of Maia and pushed him to Octagon but Maia managed to slip away with knee kicks as Weidman managed to get Maia down to the ground as time ran out in the round.
Middle of the third round saw two tired fighters as techniques got sloppy. Maia attempted a takedown but Weidman defended it perfectly as he jumped on top of Maia’s back before Maia got back up. Both men exchanged knees as both wobble from fatigue. Blood stream from Maia’s right eye as Weidman nailed Maia with right and left strikes along with one more knee. Going down the stretch, both men looked exhausted but Weidman may have gotten the best of Maia. The final minute stretch may have gotten Weidman the decision.
Weidman took the fight on eleven days notices and it showed in his condition but the question was why Maia just as exhausted? This fight was won as much as due to Weidman finding one more ounce of energy to pull off a victory and keeping his undefeated streak intact.
Chael Shonnen faced off against Michael Bisping in another battle of Middleweights that featured two different styles with different specialties as Shonnen was the former wrestler whereas Bisping was considered the better striker. Shonnen goal was to pressure Bisping and the winner would get a shot at a championship title.
Shonnen started off pressuring Bisping as he pushed Bisping to the Octagon cage but Bisping managed to get on his feet and the fight preceded with much grappling which favored Shonnen. Bisping held his own in the grappling department as he managed to twist Shonnen along the cage. Along the cage, both men exchanged knees. Bisping managed to connected on a couple of punches
At the beginning of the second round, Bisping dominated the early moments but at the halfway mark, Shonnen finally got Bisping to the ground along the cage and as Bisping escaped, Shonnen nailed him with upper cuts and knees. Bisping’s right eye started to bleed but it didn’t stop him forcing Shonnen to the cage.
Shonnen began the third round by getting Bisping to the ground. Bisping attempted to escape but as he did, he expose his back; Shonnen took advantage and got Bisping in a nasty hold. Shonnen went for submission, knowing that he may have been behind on points as he may have lost the first two rounds. Bisping managed to escape after being down most of the round and he even managed to get Shonnen down briefly. The referees view the fight through the eyes of Shonnen since much of the fight was fought along the cage and involved grappling; which was Shonnen’s style and awarded him the bout. Plus Shonnen got another title shot against Middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Rashad Evans-Phil Davis concluded the evening as a battle facing two men with wrestling background but Evans was considered the more experience striker. The opening moments saw Davis using lateral movement, looking for openings against Evans. At the four minute mark, Davis got lazy with a front kick and Evans took him down and maneuvered himself in a dominant position against Davis.
In the third round, Davis managed to get Evans down but Evans reverse field and trapped Jones into the cage before both men eventually got up. Evans nailed Jones with an uppercut followed by knees, followed by another combination. Davis moved off the cage to take Evans down and the round ended with Davis in control of Evans.
The beginning of the fourth round saw both men striking but Evans punches were delivered with more fluidity but as the round wore on, fatigue set in as Evans managed to get Davis done briefly before Davis got up and countered with an uppercut. Evans concluded the round with a solid right that sent the exhausted Davis reeling.
Phil Davis started the fifth by jabbing but Evans managed to unleash a right that shook Davis and allowed Evans to take Davis to the ground. Davis got back up but Evans hurt Davis a second time with another right hand as Davis ended up with his back to the cage before Evans trapped him again. Davis managed to escape off the cage and attempted a high kick to the head but missed while Evans nailed Phil Davis with his third thundering right of the round. Throughout the bout, Evans superior striking proved decisive since it allowed him to set up take downs and dominate most of the fight and Evans was rewarded with a unanimous decision.
Two fighters, Shonnen and Evans set themselves up for championship battles down the road but Phil Davis distinguish himself in defeat as he faced a more experienced fighter and lasted five tough rounds. As for UFC, the United Center in Chicago was packed and it will be interesting to see ratings for Fox, which has formed an alliance with UFC. The real winner may be Fox and UFC as UFC managed to expand their reach to new audiences.