UFC on Fox 2: What's Next for the Winners
The UFC's second broadcast on Fox featured three bouts, including two matchups featuring No. 1 contenders looking to get a second chance at the championship belt in their divisions.
In the main event, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans earned a unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten opponent Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis after five rounds.
In the co-main event, former title challenger Chael Sonnen defeated Michael Bisping by unanimous decision to secure himself a shot at Anderson Silva, who he lost to in August, 2010.
The other big winner of the night was Chris Weidman, who defeated Demian Maia in the opening bout.
This is what's next for the winners.
Lavar Johnson Defeats Joey Beltran via KO in Round 1
On the undercard of tonight's event, former Strikeforce heavyweight fighter Lavar Johnson made his UFC debut against one of the UFC's toughest heavyweights in Joey Beltran.
Johnson made quick work of his opponent and stopped "The Mexicutioner" for the first time in his career in the very first round.
A series of right hands and uppercuts finished the job for Johnson, and he now emerges as a new and exciting heavyweight in the UFC.
A fight versus Pat Barry could deliver in terms of fan-friendly action, and it's one that would make for a great Fight Night co-main event.
Charles Oliveira Defeats Eric Wisley Via Submission in Round 1
After a winless year in 2011, Charles Oliveira rebounded in his featherweight debut to defeat UFC newcomer Eric Wisley in the very first round with a calf slicer submission.
The road to the title is a lot shorter in the 145 pound weight class than at lightweight so the move was the right thing to do for the 22-year-old.
He holds a 15-2 record, including other submission victories over Efrain Escudero and Darren Elkins. If the UFC wants to push him into the title picture, he will have to face someone like Chan Sung-Jung or Jimy Hettes. If they want to get a better view on where he stands in the division, a fight versus Cub Swanson, who was victorious on the same card, could be next.
Evan Dunham Defeats Nik Lentz via TKO in Round 2
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Lightweight fighter Evan Dunham got a TKO win over Nik Lentz in what was tonight's fight of the night. Both fighters earned a $65,000 bonus for their work, and Dunham left with a much-needed victory.
Dunham recently rebounded from two back-to-back losses, and this fight gave him a chance to win impressively. He did so, and earned a second-round TKO when the doctors stopped the fight in between rounds.
A fight versus Jacob Volkmann may be in store for the 30-year-old, and it's one that could produce the next best lightweight contender. The division isn't short in contenders, but it's exciting fighting styles that separate the ones who get noticed from the ones who don't. Dunham is definitely one to watch.
Mike Russow Defeats John Olav Einemo Via Unanimous Decision
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Heavyweight Mike Russow earned a unanimous decision victory over John Olav Einemo in front of his hometown fans, and it has brought him to an undefeated 4-0 record in the UFC.
Many considered Einemo a legitimate threat to Russow on the ground, but the 35-year-old still took the fight to the ground when necessary and was able to control his opponent from on top.
With a 15-1 record overall, Russow has one of the more impressive records in the division. A fight versus the winner of the upcoming Stefan Struve and Dave Herman bout is a step in the right direction to making a run for the title.
Chris Weidman Defeats Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision
Chris Weidman had a battle before even stepping into the Octagon to face Demian Maia. It came in the form of his brutal weight cut, which saw him lose almost 50 pounds after taking the fight on 11 days notice.
Weidman was fortunate that his opponent wasn't in the best shape, either, and after three rounds, he walked away with a unanimous decision win.
The UFC can use Weidman to promote a new contender in the division, but this victory won't help him gain much attention in terms of excitement.
A fight versus the winner of Tim Boetsch and Yushin Okami would be a proper test after earning a win over a top 10 opponent. They can also match him up with Mark Munoz or Rousimar Palhares if they want to get a No. 1 contender lined up after Sonnen.
Chael Sonnen Defeats Michael Bisping via Unanimous Decision
Chael Sonnen was victorious against Michael Bisping, but many thought "The Count" had done enough to get the win.
When the scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 were announced, everyone knew who had been awarded the unanimous decision.
With two close first rounds, Sonnen came out in the third and took it to his opponent to easily win the final round of the fight.
Now Sonnen sets himself up for a rematch with Anderson Silva in Brazil, and it's likely to take place in the summer.
Rashad Evans Defeats Phil Davis via Unanimous Decision
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Rashad Evans needed to earn a victory in any way, shape or form against Phil Davis in the main event tonight.
It was what he got after five rounds, and the 50-45 scorecards showed how dominant he was against his previously unbeaten opponent.
With the win, Evans is now set to face UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones, who went 4-0 last year with wins over Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader. That fight will take place at UFC 145 in April.