The UFC on FOX 2: "Evans vs. Davis" event going down tonight (Sat., Jan. 28, 2012) at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, kicked off its main card on network television with an intriguing middleweight clash pitting two submission stylists.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia accepted a short notice bout against Chris Weidman, who saved the day for the promotion after Mark Munoz suffered and injury and Michael Bisping went on to bigger things. So how did they react to having just days to prepare for each other?
Not good, it turns out. Not good at all.
Neither man appeared ready for the other and both were overly cautious on their way to a three-round, 15-minute borefest that included far too much booing from the fans in attendance. Not a good look for the first fight on FOX to go the distance.
The winner -- though that seems like an afterthought and irrelevant at this point -- was Weidman, who did just enough to earn a split decision victory. It wasn't pretty but he did take this fight on just 11 days notice and reportedly just from 233-pounds to 185-pounds in that time.
Pawing was the name of the game early, as neither fighter was looking to engage or get overly chippy. They were throwing hands, don't get me wrong, but it was cautious and overly patient.
There were few takedown attempts, outside of Weidman throwing Maia a few times once he got his arms around him. Finally, with about one minute to go in the opening frame, Chris managed to get Demian to the floor. How long was he there?
About three seconds.
These two truly cancelled each other out in the early going.
The second round saw much of the same as the first. Maia's game seemed to be predicated on throwing a pawing jab before following up with an overhand left. That would be fine if Weidman didn't completely see it coming each time and avoid any real damage.
That opened things up Weidman to simply stay patient and wait for his openings.
It was around the three minute mark that the United Center lit up with boos, as fans grew tired of waiting for significant action. Weidman opened up with a head kick but the pacing of the fight was making everyone unhappy.
Nonetheless, it was clear that Weidman had the winning game plan and was executing it brilliantly.
Despite the fact that the fight was still relatively close, at least as far as the uneven judges are concerned, the fans booed boisterously throughout the final frame. Both men were gassed and this was the last thing anyone expected from these two middleweights.
At least Weidman has the weight cutting excuse and he still came away with the win. But what about Maia?
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