The co-main event of the evening at UFC on Fox 2: "Evans vs. Davis" tonight (Sat., Jan. 28, 2012) in Chicago, Illinois, featured a middleweight number one contender bout pitting former title challenger Chael Sonnen againt British bad boy Michael Bisping.
It was a style match-up showcasing a strong wrestler who likes to bury people into the mat and punch until they quit against a stand-up striker who does essentially the same thing, only vertically. The winner was promised a shot against Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in his home country of Brazil.
And the lucky boy headed to greet him will be the same man who came within minutes of defeating him back at UFC 117, Chael Sonnen, who earned a close unanimous decision victory.
He didn't cut a promo on Silva after the fight, instead electing to spit some hot garbage at Joe Rogan. Nonetheless, the rematch that everyone wanted to see is coming this June to a Brazilian stadium near you, Maniacs.
It didn't take long at all for the two to engage and start slugging it out. Sonnen opened fire early with punches, all designed just to get Bisping to the mat. That's what he did, too, dragging the Brit to the floor and landing a few hard shots.
But back up came "The Count."
The crowd chanted "U.S.A." because Bisping is from England, which is all the reason anyone in America needs to tout that we are, in fact, stateside. While this was going on, Sonnen was again pushing the pace and pressuring Bisping into the fence. He couldn't keep him on the mat but he damn sure worked his hardest to do so.
Each time they separated, it was Bisping who landed the cleaner and more efficient strikes but Sonnen maintained pressuring and stayed aggressive all throughout. But would that furious pace come back to haunt him?
Much to the surprise of basically everyone on Earth, Bisping handled Sonnen's grappling far better than anyone thought he would be able to. Much of the round was spent with Bisping pushing his foe against the fence and controlling the action.
Finally, Sonnen earned a takedown and got on top to deliver some shots. Unfortunately for him, "The Count" once again did what he does best and got right back to his feet before any significant damage was done.
The slugged it out for the remainder of the second stanza and it sure looked as though Bisping was the one getting the better of the action. He went to his corner sucking air like it was running short on supply, though.
Sure enough, to start the third Sonnen came across and got himself a takedown fairly quick. In a close fight lie this, those points scored are crucial. He did manage to take Bisping's back and rolled him over with both hooks in, looking for the rear-naked choke.
It wasn't long before he transitioned to full mount and had Bisping flat and in a very bad position. Bisping, though, like he's so good at doing, was able to hip escape and get back to half guard. Sonnen used this new position to look for an arm triangle but the Brit's defense was too good.
Finally, with 20 seconds remaining in the round, Bisping got back up and managed to get a takedown into some ground-n-pound to end the 15-minute contest.
Bisping was close but his quest to attain a title shot continues while Sonnen will get his second within the last year. Here we go, Maniacs. Hype time begins soon.
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