When the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) invades the United Center in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 28, 2012, with UFC on Fox 2, five of the six participants in the events triple-header main event are highly accomplished grapplers (sorry Michael Bisping).
Demian Maia is one of the most accomplished and decorated grapplers in the world, having participated in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) grappling tournament; placing 1st and 2nd in separate events, and winning the UFC's "Submission of the Night" award four times.
But if that makes you think that Zuffa officials were cautious when it comes to matchmaking to keep their new partners over at FOX happy, think again.
When asked if the UFC deliberately matched up so many wrestlers on the main card to avoid having potentially brutal knockouts aired on network television in primetime, a baffled UFC President Dana White assured fans and media in attendance that that's simply not the case:
"This guy (Mark Munoz) has got one of the nastiest ground-and-pounds in the business. One of the most vicious, nasty, smash you up against the cage ground-and-pound there is. This guy (Rashad Evans) comes out with one of the most vicious knockout highlights I have ever seen when he kicked Sean Salmons in the face. I don't think you can see anything more vicious than that. Anything can happen on any given night with anybody. I mean I can't look at two fighters and say, "Hey, let's put this one on because this won't happen or that won't happen." The thing that makes this sport so exciting is that it's completely unpredictable. We got over our hump with the first FOX fight. We went out there, the presentation was perfect, it came off great, quick knockout which people are used to and more importantly, no complaints. So, it is what it is. This sport is on FOX and its going to be for seven years and there are going to be knockouts and there are going to be submissions, there is going to be some nasty ground-and-pound. It is what it is."
The inaugural UFC on FOX show, which went down on Nov. 12, 2011, from Anaheim, Calif., ended in brutal fashion as Junior Dos Santos knocked out then UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez just 64 seconds into the fight.
That right there would seem to quell the notion that FOX is scared of knockouts.
Then again, upon crunching some numbers, all six headlining competitors (Demian Maia, Chael Sonnen, Mark Munoz, Phil Davis, Michael Bisping, Rashad Evans) have a combined total of five knockout victories, nine submission wins, 12 technical knockouts and, wait for it ... 24 combined wins by way of decision.
What do you say Maniacs, careful planning or sheer coincidence?