UFC on Fox 2: 5 Questions That Will Be Answered
Rashad Evans and Phil Davis headline Fox's Jan. 28th card
UFC on Fox left fans clamoring for more. While they got to see Junior Dos Santos KO Cain Velasquez at 1:04 in Round 1, it didn't really feel like a title fight.
Whether that had to do with only one fight on the major network, or the one-sidedness that dos Santos made it into, only UFC on Fox 2 will be able to settle.
Fox had to fill an hour time slot for the main event, and since the undercard was viewable only on Facebook and FoxSports.com, it will be interesting to see what kind of ratings UFC on Fox 2 garners.
According to reports, Fox is going to provide more than just the main event, and is expected to showcase at least three live fights, in comparison with just the one before.
Either way, UFC on Fox 2 is looking to be a game-changer in the mixed martial arts industry and here's five things that should help contribute to that.
Can Eddie Wineland Compete in the UFC?
Eddie Wineland was considered one of the top fighters in the WEC at the time of the merger with UFC. But in his first two bouts, he's lost unanimous decisions to Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez in consecutive fights.
At UFC on Fox 2, he's facing Demetrious Johnson. Johnson lost his bantamweight title bid against Dominick Cruz, and is hungry to climb back up the division rankings. Johnson is no slouch, and he even broke his fibula during a recent match with Miguel Torres. He went on to win via unanimous decision.
Wineland needs to prove to Dana White that he belongs in the league. Another loss would put him on the verge of a possible scenario where he needed to win to stay in the sport, and with the UFC asserting its dominance in buying out other leagues (Strikeforce, WEC), he won't have much of a chance to make it big in another venue.
How Hungry for Title Is Michael Bisping?
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Bisping beat the living piss out of Jason "Mayhem" Miller at The Ultimate Fighter 14 finale. UFC president Dana White called it "maybe the most one-sided fight" he has ever seen in the history of the sport.
Bisping has made no bones about his intentions to take the title away from arguably UFC's most decorated fighter of all-time, Anderson Silva. He was thought to be facing Chael Sonnen after his Miller bout, but Dana White has set up the order of title contenders in the middleweight division to look like this:
Chael Sonnen vs. Mark Munoz (Winner faces Anderson Silva)
Michael Bisping vs. Demian Maia (Winner faces winner of Silva and Sonnen/Munoz)
But as the UFC goes, if Sonnen goes on to beat Munoz like he has been favored to, shows up big against Silva and Bisping struggles against Maia, White could pit Sonnen against Bisping in another hurdle to the middleweight title.
However, if Bisping takes care of business against Maia the way he did against Mayhem Miller, it will be hard to argue that Bisping doesn't deserve a shot at the title immediately following the next Silva title defense.
How Hungry Is Chael Sonnen for Silva Rematch?
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Chael Sonnen has one of the biggest mouths in the UFC. And ever since Silva edged him out at UFC 117 in the final two minutes of the fifth round, he's been wanting a rematch.
And doing what he does best. Talking. And talking. And when that fails, he talks some more. He's quickly becoming one of the most polarizing figures in the sport. You either love him or you hate him, and if you're a fan of Silva, there's nothing more in the world you'd rather see than Silva leave no doubt during a rematch.
Sonnen needs to take care of business against Mark Munoz, and although he probably doesn't have to get a KO or TKO to make his case, it would give his jabs at Silva a little more juice heading into the highly anticipated rematch when Silva returns from injury.
Who's Next for Jon "Bones" Jones?
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Jon Jones defended his title for the second time at UFC 140, and his next fight will most likely be determined by the headliner of UFC on Fox 2. Rashad Evans and Phil Davis are scheduled to go toe to toe, and if Evans wins, he'll likely take on Jones next.
Evans and Jones have been on the gambit since Jones took out Shogun Rua at UFC 128 to claim the light heavyweight title. The training partners were supposed to hook up at UFC 133, but injuries to both fighters pushed Jones to defend his title against Quentin "Rampage" Jackson instead.
Evans controls his own destiny if he wants to finally face Jones and regain the title. He wins against Davis, and the next title fight in the light heavyweight division will include him.
Up until recently, it was regarded that Davis had the same kind of journey. But Dana White hinted that Davis was not going to get a crack at the title if he extended his career record to 10-0, rather Dan Henderson would get the nod after his recent victory over Shogun at UFC 139.
Bottom line: It gets hazy if Evans loses, and to ensure clarity for the division Evans will have to be on top of his game to take down the undefeated Davis.
How High Is the Ceiling for Fox/UFC Partnership?
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Fox is sitting pretty with the UFC. The multi-million dollar deal has Fox in position to set them up as having the potential to be one of the highest grossing networks for the foreseeable future.
The network already has the Super Bowl, the World Series and NASCAR, and adding the growing mixed martial arts best will only help their case in competing with ESPN for sporting television dominance.
Although UFC on Fox 1 didn't pull the ratings that would reflect a major increase in revenue for Fox. But consider that there was only one fight that night, it lasted less than a minute in the first round and Manny Pacquiao was fighting later that evening.
With at least three televised fights scheduled for this one, and no other huge sporting events to compete with (weekend before the Super Bowl), this fight night could shatter the previous record set by CBS during the 2008 Kimbo Slice fight.
Ratings aside, true UFC fans are going to jump at the chance to sit at home and watch the fights for free. And if the UFC makes a habit of letting network television carry major fights, then I have a feeling ratings will come.