Power vs. technique.
Fight fans salivating over a fantasy match-up between two of the world's most dangerous grapplers may be disappointed to learn that neither middleweight has much interest in fighting the other.
That's because Rousimar Palhares turned down a chance to secure 185-pound bragging rights when Dana White offered him the opportunity to fill the hole created by Michael Bisping, who was yanked from his fight against Demian Maia at UFC on FOX 2 to challenge Chael Sonnen at the network-televised event scheduled for Jan. 28, 2012, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Sonnen's original opponent, Mark Munoz, was forced to withdraw from the "Windy City" fight card due to an elbow injury.
Palhares, fresh off a UFC 142 massacre over Mike Massenzio, was reportedly too burned out from a rigorous training schedule that started for his UFC 134 bout against Dan Miller, went straight through the 2011 Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) competition and then right into the "Aldo vs. Mendes" pay-per-view back on Jan. 14.
Not that it mattered, seeing as how Maia didn't want to fight him anyway.
"It was rumored (a fight with Palhares), but I thought there would not be any possibilities (of it happening), because he just fought, it doesn't make sense for him to throw himself into another fight right now. "Toquinho" trained a few months for this fight. Just because it was fast doesn't mean there were no wear and tears. But I don't even think about that. To be honest, the Brazilian fans should be more worried about seeing us fighting foreigners. There are (only) a few Brazilian fighters in the division and I think that, aside of the title, since it's Anderson who is the champion, the Brazilians should not face each other."
One guy was too tired and the other guy doesn't fight his own kind. Well isn't that just terrific. Hard to deny it would be an exciting ground battle -- and one we may never see.
Palhares' loss is Chris Weidman's gain. The "All American" got the last-minute call-up to face Maia on the UFC on FOX 2 fight card and could secure a spot among the top middleweight contenders if he can pull off the short-notice win.
For all the news and notes surrounding the Jan. 28 event, for which there are aplenty, click here.