Rashad Evans (file photo) dominated Phil Davis in Chicago at UFC
on Fox 2. | AP Photo/Gregory Payan
removed the last remaining obstacle standing between him
and reigning light heavyweight champion Jon Jones
In a stellar all-around performance, Evans put all of his weapons
to use and captured a lopsided unanimous decision from the
previously unbeaten Phil Davis in
on Fox 2 headliner on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.
Evans swept the scorecards by identical 50-45 counts, pitching
MMA’s equivalent of a shutout.
Vastly superior striking, airtight grappling and superb defensive
wrestling were all in play for Evans (17-1-1, 12-1-1 UFC), who will
face Jones, his former Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts stablemate, in
the UFC 145 main event on April 21 in Atlanta, provided both men
“Now that I’ve won, I get the opportunity to fight Jon,” Evans
said, “and I’m very excited about it.”
Davis (9-1, 5-1 UFC) was effective early in the first round with
kicks to the leg and body and a nice right hand from the clinch.
However, Evans shut down the 2008 NCAA national champion wrestler,
securing a takedown of an ill-timed kick and later moving into a
mounted crucifix position that had Davis squirming like a fish out
of water. The scene repeated itself in the second and fifth
At a sizeable disadvantage in terms of experience, Davis had grown
tentative by round two and threw his strikes with far less vigor.
Evans capitalized, answering his opponent’s single shots with crisp
multi-punch combinations. He was particularly sharp with his right
uppercut and had Davis bleeding from the mouth midway through the
25-minute encounter. Most importantly, Evans stonewalled the
four-time collegiate All-American’s takedowns and made him pay a
hefty price for errant attempts. The only stone the man they call
“Suga” left unturned was the finish.
“I felt like I wanted to put him away, and I just didn’t get the
chance to land those big punches,” Evans said. “I’m kind of
disappointed about it. When you’re fighting a guy as tough as
Davis, sometimes things like that happen.”
Sonnen File Photo
Sonnen earned a rematch with Silva.
The polarizing Chael Sonnen
won for the fifth time in six outings and secured his rematch with
UFC middleweight champion Anderson
Silva, as he took a unanimous decision from “The Ultimate
Fighter” Season 3 winner Michael
Bisping in the co-main event. All three cageside judges scored
it for Sonnen (27-11-1, 6-4 UFC): 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28. The
defeat snapped Bisping’s streak of four consecutive victories.
Sonnen attempted to impose himself on his foe from the start. He
landed takedowns in all three rounds but had difficulty keeping
Bisping (22-4, 12-4 UFC) on his back. The 32-year-old Brit
routinely returned to a standing position, where he launched
punches into Sonnen’s head and more than held his own in the
clinch, often pinning the NCAA All-American wrestler to the
Perhaps sensing the need to put his stamp on the fight, Sonnen did
his best work in the third round. There, he struck for another
takedown, transitioned to Bisping’s back, fished for the rear-naked
choke and ultimately mounted him midway through the period. The
damage he exacted was limited to punches to the body and a few
elbows to the head. Bisping reclaimed guard, got back to his feet
and scored with a takedown of his own in the final seconds. It was
not enough to sway the judges.
Former Ring of
Combat champion Chris
Weidman kept his perfect professional record intact and
graduated from prospect to contender, as he defeated 2007 Abu Dhabi
Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist
Maia by unanimous decision in a pivotal 185-pound showcase.
All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Weidman (8-0, 4-0
UFC), who accepted the bout on just 11 days’ notice and endured a
drastic weight cut in meeting the middleweight limit.
Weidman controlled much of the matchup with his striking, as he
countered effectively and peppered Maia (15-4, 9-4 UFC) with kicks
to the legs and punches to the body. He also scored with takedowns
in all three rounds and attacked the decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu
black belt on the ground, threatening with chokes when Maia
attempted to move into more advantageous positions.
Fatigue set in on both men in the third round, as they traded slow,
looping punches with one another. Weidman, a two-time NCAA
All-American wrestler at Hofstra University, opened a cut near
Maia’s right eye with a series of knees from the clinch and battled
through exhaustion to pick up the most significant victory of his
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