Fox’s 2nd UFC card didn’t live up to hype

Jake Cochran, Columnist

As there are in most fight cards there were many highs and lows over the weekend, but the highs and lows were much more significant.

The highs included FOX hosting the UFC for the second time.  The lows were mostly that the card did not deliver the kind of energy the company might have hoped for.

The fight card was very stacked if you would ask any hardcore fan, all the fighters were in the top ten in their division, the only fighter who you could argue was not would be an up and coming middleweight Chris Weidman.

Weidman was not even on the card, or even in a training camp eleven days before the fight. He was actually sitting in the kitchen about to eat dinner when he got a call from the UFC asking him to take a fight against the perennial top ten middleweight, Demian Maia.

He accepted the fight immediately because he said at the time he spent at Hofstra, where he was a two-time All-American in Wrestling. He was always very good at cramming for tests and he didn’t see this as any different.

Weidman turned out to be right because on Saturday night he got the best of Maia in every aspect of the game. While some many criticize his cardio in the fight, the weight cut needs to be brought into consideration.

While on the MMA Hour the Monday before the fight Weidman said he was around 220 pounds when he got the call for the fight, which would make for quite a cut to get to the 185 pound limit for a middleweight fight.

Even after that intense cut Weidman still had his hand raised Saturday night. Weidman even got the best of Maia in scrambles and when the fight went to the ground which many thought would be a stumbling block for the wrestler because Maia is a Fourth Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

As was the theme with most of the night though, that high also had a low to match it. For how good Weidman looked, Demian Maia looked inversely terrible.

Maia who knew he had this fight for quite some time looked flat and had terrible cardio throughout the match. His striking, which he was rumored to be working on looked terrible. His combinations were rudimentary at best. His jab was a complete non-factor and would be best compared to a cat pawing at a ball of yarn rather than a mixed martial artist competing on national television.

While you can make the excuse that his opponent did change on eleven days notice, he was originally slated to face English Striker Michael Bisping, that is still no excuse for his complete disregard of the jab as a useful strike to set up his powerful left straight and lack of cardio.

The next fight on the card was one that had the potential to be a media delight because the human sound byte Chael Sonnen was set to take on a man that just seems to piss everyone off, Michael Bisping.

Sadly the things that are most newsworthy about this fight happened outside of the bells. At the prefight press conference Chael Sonnen showed up with his typical WWE style antics, saying how he is the true champion of the middleweight division and he even brought a belt that he claimed he stole from the true champion Anderson Silva, “like a thief in the night.”

Bisping fired back saying that Chael bought the belt for $29.99 on eBay. The back and forth between the fighters was more memorable than the fight which ended up going to a controversial judges decision that had Sonnen leave as the top contender for the rematch with Silva.

The decision was so controversial that even UFC President Dana White said that he scored the fight with Michael Bisping as the winner and that the judge who scored the fight 30-27 should never watch a fight again. Many sites were a glow with the president’s statements arguing both sides as fierce as the civil war.

Sonnen did not go quietly into the night after his narrow decision win though. He went on a rant that would make Rick Flair and Hulk Hogan blush, proclaiming that when you are the greatest in the sport you are not called the greatest ever but you are called Chael Sonnen.

Again his comments set the messages boards and forums on fire with pro-Chael and anti-Chael sentiments, people argued that he is a genius and people argued about he is setting the sport back in the eyes of the common fan and the sport will never be taken seriously with those antics.

Since the controversial decision loss and the president believing that he actually won, Michael Bisping finds himself in a very strange situation. Bisping can’t be very disappointed in his performance because he was seen as a big underdog coming into the fight and even with the loss it puts him in a very good place for a future title shot. Many sites even have Bisping going up in the rankings after the loss.

Even after all that controversy, the main event is left, a five round fight between almost permanent no. 1 contender Rashad Evans and one of the youngest fighters in the organization Phil Davis.

Rashad who is one of the most veteran fighters on the roster showed his experience and superiority in every aspect of the game against Davis. Even with Evan’s height and reach disadvantage he was able to close the distance to get the best of Davis.

Davis showed he still had aspects of the game to improve upon throughout the 5 round fight by getting put in many terrible positions, like the mounted crucifix at the end of a few rounds. But he also showed that he was no slump in the way he could escape the terrible situations and showed resilience in his ability to not be finished.

After the five round fight the Joe Rogan informed Rashad Evans that he would be meeting Jon Jones in Atlanta on April 21 to fight for the Light Heavyweight Title, a long awaited match between the 2 fighters who have had a war of words recently.

Even with the number one contender cleared up this still leaves questions as to what the UFC will do with Dan Henderson. Henderson just came out on the better end of one of what many call the greatest fight of all time at UFC 139 against Mauricio Shogun Rua.

After that fight many were calling for the UFC to have Henderson face Jon Jones to unify the Strikeforce and UFC Light Heavyweight titles, as Henderson was the last man to hold the Strikeforce title. Those cries seem to have fallen upon deaf ears now that Evans will face Jones.

Its only seems fitting that at the end of UFC on FOX 2 most fans are left with more questions than answers. Sure the number one contenders in two divisions are now established but the card seems to have left Michael Bisping in a strange position and what should be made of Weidman’s performance over a lackluster Demian Maia, and what will the UFC do with Dan Henderson?