UFC on Fox 2 Results: Matches to Make After Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis

Sean SmithAnalyst IJanuary 30, 2012

UFC on Fox 2 Results: Matches to Make After Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis

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    With title shots in the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions on the line, UFC on Fox 2 set the stage for what will undoubtedly be two of 2012's biggest fights.

    Saturday's event, the UFC's first on Fox since the organization's deal with the network giant officially began, also saw Chris Weidman emerge as a middleweight contender with a decision victory over Demian Maia.

    Although the trio of main card bouts was somewhat lackluster, the results set up what will most likely be the two most highly anticipated title fights of 2012.

    Let's take a look at those two championship bouts and the rest of the fights that could be made with UFC on Fox 2 now in the rear-view mirror.

Chris Camozzi vs. Rafael Natal-Michael Kuiper Winner

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    After losing to Francis Carmont in his return to the UFC, Chris Camozzi was in desperate need of a win at UFC on Fox 2. 

    With a third-round guillotine choke of Dustin Jacoby, Camozzi got that win to secure his spot on the UFC's middleweight roster.

    Now, Camozzi's focus will turn to attempting to win consecutive fights for the first time since October 2010. 

    A fight against another lower-tier middleweight, possibly the winner of a UFC 143 bout between Rafael Natal and UFC newcomer Michael Kuiper, could give Camozzi the opportunity to pick up back-to-back wins and start climbing the ranks.

Joey Beltran vs. Anthony Perosh-Nick Penner Loser

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    After tipping the scales at 245 pounds for his previous fight against Stipe Miocic, Joey Beltran weighed in at 228 pounds for his UFC on Fox 2 bout with Lavar Johnson.

    Significantly undersized against his 252-pound opponent, Beltran was bullied around the Octagon before getting knocked unconscious with a series of uppercuts.

    A loser of four out of his past five fights, Beltran will need to get back into the win column in order to remain in the world's premier MMA organization.

    It seems unlikely that Beltran would drop 20 pounds without plans of a future cut to the light heavyweight division. 

    Expect Beltran to take some time off to put himself in position to compete at 205 pounds for his next fight, which could come against the loser of a UFC on Fox 2 bout between Anthony Perosh and Nick Penner.

Lavar Johnson vs. Pat Barry

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    Having lost his two fights prior to making his UFC debut on Saturday, expectations weren't very high for Lavar Johnson.

    Sure, the Strikeforce veteran had shown knockout power prior to stepping into the Octagon for the first time, but opponent Joey Beltran was considered one of the toughest heavyweights to finish in all of MMA.

    Nonetheless, Johnson used his size and reach to overwhelm Beltran and earn Knockout of the Night honors with repeated uppercuts.

    It is those powerful strikes that would make a matchup between Johnson and Pat Barry extremely intriguing. A bout between Johnson and the former kickboxer would almost make for a guaranteed knockout.

Shane Roller vs. Kamal Shalorus

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    Unable to take Michael Johnson to the ground at UFC on Fox 2, three-time All-American wrestler Shane Roller is on the brink of being released from the UFC.

    However, having taken the fight with Johnson on short notice, Roller is likely to get one more chance to prove himself in the Octagon.

    A bout with a fellow wrestler in Kamal Shalorus, who is also on a losing streak, would force Roller to show improvement in striking and setting up his takedown attempts.

Michael Johnson vs. T.J. Grant

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    In victory, Michael Johnson showed major improvement at UFC on Fox 2.

    Johnson easily stuffed a majority of the takedown attempts of an elite amateur wrestler in Shane Roller. The former TUF runner-up also displayed sharpened striking on his feet.

    The win over Roller, a former lightweight contender in the WEC, should earn Johnson a step up in competition.

    T.J. Grant, who also defeated Roller in his most recent outing, was forced out of a UFC 141 bout due to an unspecified injury.

    If Grant is able to heal up within a reasonable amount of time, he could serve as a tough test for Johnson's next fight. 

Eric Wisely vs. Pat Schilling

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    Strikeforce veteran Eric Wisely was handed a tough task in his UFC debut, as he welcomed Charles Oliveira to the featherweight division.

    Shortly after fighting off a heel hook attempt, Wisely found himself tapping to a rare calf slicer within two minutes of the start of the fight.

    With multiple wins over Hermes Franca, Wisely should have a future with the UFC, but he will definitely need to take a step back against another new face in the organization.

    A bout with Pat Schilling, who lost earlier this month, would probably make the most sense for Wisely's next Octagon appearance. 

Charles Oliveira vs. Ross Pearson

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    Once considered one of the top up-and-coming 155-pound fighters in the sport, Charles Oliveira ran into some speed bumps in the lightweight division.

    A pair of losses prompted Oliveira to make a move to the featherweight division. A move that paid big dividends at UFC on Fox 2.

    Oliveira's calf slicer against Eric Wisely is an early Submission of the Year candidate and should jump-start the Brazilian's run at capturing a UFC title in the future.

    Oliveira's next matchup could come against another former lightweight, Ross Pearson, who also recently found success in his featherweight debut. 

George Roop vs. Jonathan Brookins-Vagner Rocha Loser

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    Prior to Saturday night, George Roop had not lost back-to-back fights since June 2007.

    That changed with a single overhand right from Cub Swanson.

    Unable to counter when Swanson worked inside of his long reach, Roop had trouble finding any success with his striking at UFC on Fox 2.

    Briefly considered a contender after beating Josh Grispi and narrowly losing to Hatsu Hioki, Roop will now have to work his way back up the featherweight ladder against another fighter coming off of a loss.

    A bout with the loser of the fight between Jonathan Brookins and Vagner Rocha at an upcoming UFC on Fuel event could be next for Roop.

Cub Swanson vs. Erik Koch

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    Coming off of a loss to Ricardo Lamas in his UFC debut, Cub Swanson needed a win at UFC on Fox to ensure himself a long stay with the organization.

    The Greg Jackson-trained fighter came into his fight against George Roop with the perfect game plan.

    Swanson rushed in with flurries of strikes, getting inside his opponent's long reach, which prevented Roop from landing any counter-strikes.

    Midway through the second round, Swanson landed an overhand right flush, sending Roop's mouthpiece flying and resulting in the end of the fight.

    With his place in the UFC now secure, Swanson can turn his focus toward contending for the featherweight title. A bout with the up-and-coming Erik Koch could make for an entertaining fight.

Mike Russow vs. Gabriel Gonzaga

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    It might not have been the most exciting way to win, but Mike Russow picked up a decisive victory over John-Olav Einemo at UFC on Fox 2 by using his wrestling and controlling the fight on the ground.

    His winning streak now at 11 fights, Russow is probably only one or two wins away from competing with the true contenders in the heavyweight division.

    A bout with a veteran opponent like Gabriel Gonzaga would give an indication of whether Russow is ready for that kind of step up in competition or not.

Nik Lentz vs. Spencer Fisher

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    Had it not been for an illegal knee in June 2011 by Charles Oliveira, Nik Lentz's loss to Evan Dunham at UFC on Fox 2 likely could have been his third straight.

    Even if Lentz's defeat on Saturday did mark a third consecutive loss, his willingness to take the bout on short notice would probably be enough for him to get one more shot inside the Octagon, especially considering the level of competition "The Carny" has lost to recently.

    That being said, it's time for Lentz to take a step back from competing against lightweight contenders. 

    A bout with scrappy veteran Spencer Fisher would provide a tough fight for Lentz, while also giving him a good chance to get back on a winning track.

Evan Dunham vs. Sean Sherk

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    With two straight wins since his knockout loss to Melvin Guillard, Evan Dunham is finally back where he was within the lightweight division when he was an undefeated up-and-coming contender in mid-2010.

    It was at that time when Dunham was preparing to face former UFC champion Sean Sherk. In a controversial decision, Dunham was defeated by Sherk, who hasn't fought since due to injuries.

    In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Sherk stated that he was planning to return to the Octagon in the coming months.

    Since both fighters are back in relatively the same position as they were when they last fought, why not have Sherk and Dunham come full circle for a bout to settle who the better fighter really is?

Demian Maia vs. Jason Miller

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    Although he had shown improvement in his striking over previous fights, Demian Maia's stand-up appeared to regress somewhat in his fight with Chris Weidman on Saturday.

    The Brazilian was predictable and rarely attempted to put multiple strikes together. Unable to take his opponent—a two-time All-American wrestler—to the ground, Maia was left to throw his left hand over and over in hopes of landing a big shot.

    By the third round, Maia's Hail Mary attempts appeared to take their toll on his gas tank. 

    All in all, Maia's performance at UFC on Fox 2 was one of the poorest of his UFC career, potentially putting him in UFC president Dana White's dog house.

    A bout between grapplers Maia and Jason Miller would ensure one notable middleweight would get back on track, while the other may be in danger of being released from the UFC.

Chris Weidman vs. Rousimar Palhares

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    Now undefeated in eight professional fights, Chris Weidman has arrived as a contender in the middleweight division.

    Although his win over Demian Maia wasn't a spectacular one, the former All-American wrestler got the job done on 11 days' notice.

    A bout with another jiu-jitsu practitioner with slightly more dangerous striking than Maia could be interesting. 

    Once Weidman's foot is healed from Saturday's fight, the UFC should consider setting him up to fight Rousimar Palhares in a bout that could produce a top-five 185-pound fighter. 

Michael Bisping vs. Mark Munoz

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    Although he has rarely been controlled on the ground during his UFC career, few gave Michael Bisping any chance of keeping a fight with Chael Sonnen standing.

    In Saturday's co-main event, Bisping did much more than keep the fight standing. Though the decision went in Sonnen's favor, many believed Bisping earned the win and a title shot.

    At the very least, Bisping proved he was on Sonnen's level.

    As such, a fight with Sonnen's originally scheduled opponent for UFC on Fox 2, Mark Munoz, would make the most sense for Bisping's next fight.

Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva

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    Whether he earned the decision victory he received against Michael Bisping or not, Chael Sonnen set up what will go down as one of the most highly anticipated rematches in MMA history at UFC on Fox 2.

    By defeating Bisping, Sonnen earned a title shot against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva

    Deserved or otherwise, this should be interesting.

Phil Davis vs. Vladimir Matyushenko

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    One of the most talented amateur wrestlers to ever compete in MMA, Phil Davis' inability to out-wrestle Rashad Evans at UFC on Fox 2 showed that there is a big difference between collegiate wrestling and MMA wrestling.

    Though he suffered the first loss of his career via decision, the 27-year-old Davis still has a very bright future in MMA. 

    Still, Davis has some glaring holes in his game that he will need to work on. Accordingly, Davis should take a big step back in competition before working himself back up to fights with elite light heavyweights.

    A fight with fellow wrestler Vladimir Matyushenko could force Davis to work on his striking and setting up takedowns with strikes.

    Until Davis improves in those two areas, he isn't going to be considered a threat to the best of the best in the 205-pound division.

Rashad Evans vs. Jon Jones

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    Rashad Evans probably would have liked to finish Phil Davis to send a message to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

    Regardless, Evans' decision win in the main event of UFC on Fox 2 earned him a long-awaited grudge match with his former teammate.

    Evans' chance to reclaim his belt will come at UFC 145 in April.

    Although he was reserved about the matchup in his post-fight interviews this past weekend, expect Evans to start talking some trash as the fight draws nearer.


    Sean Smith is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. For the latest insight and updates on everything MMA,