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Newcomers to MMA Should Watch This Weekend’s UFC on FOX Event

If you haven’t watched an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) event in the last decade, or 5 years, or maybe ever…I would encourage you to give it a try this weeken. You should check out UFC on FOX 2 Saturday night at 7pm.

I am a BIG, BIG fan of MMA and the UFC…but I haven’t always been. Before I really started watching and learning about it, I had the same misconception that I think a lot of people have. I think folks still view MMA as some unregulated, no holds barred street fight between two thugs…where guys get their arms ripped off and are beaten to a bloody pulp. That’s what I used to think about it. And honestly, that’s how a lot of the very early UFC events were. There was no regulation, no rules, no time limit. But that was a long time ago.

I started to get interested in MMA back in 2005 during the first season of the UFC’s Ulitmate Fighter series. Although I was kind of antsy and nervous and watched through my fingers, I stuck with it…and discovered the sport and the industry and evolved immensely.

If/When you watch, you’ll see that the sport is heavily regulated and full of rules that are meant to protect the fighters. The main rule is, a bout will be stopped if a fighter can no longer defend himself. The referees are right on top of the action and are quick to step in to keep a fighter safe. I would argue that MMA is safer (and way more entertaining) than boxing.

I really do hope you’ll check out event on Saturday night. There are three main-card fights scheduled, and they all look like doozies.

Here’s my quick preview of the event and predictions (plus a couple videos). For the record, my predictions seem to always be wrong…so if you’re wagering money on these fights, you may want to bet against my picks.

Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis

The main event of the evening is a No. 1 contender bout…as the winner will move on and face the Light Heavyweight (205lbs) champ Jon Jones. Evans and Davis were both standout Big Ten collegiate wrestlers…Evans at Michigan State and Davis at Penn State. Rashad is a former light heavyweight champ who actually has relied on his hands more than his wrestling. His boxing and quick hands are really impressive.

Davis brings a 9-0 record into the Octagon…and may be a little more well-rounded with some of his submission skills. Davis is 5 years younger and hasn’t been through some of the battles that Evans has. Will that work for or against him?

My prediction: I’m really torn on this one…not sure what’s going to happen. I think I’ll go with Phil Davis by decision.

Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping

The middle fight of the night is the one I am most excited to see…as 2 of the best middleweights (185 lbs) in the world fight to earn a shot at the current middleweight champ Anderson Silva. Both of these guys are polarizing figures and considered by some to be “villains”…but the fact is they get the job done in the cage. Sonnen is perhaps the best wrestler in the division. There is nobody he can’t take down…and keep down. Last year he dominated Silva for five rounds and almost won the belt…until he got caught in a triangle choke in the final seconds of the final round.

Michael Bisping is a former Ultimate Fighter champion and a very well-rounded and well-conditioned fighter. He’s good in every area of MMA. The question is, can he stay off his back and have the chance to let his striking abilities shine?

My prediction: Chael Sonnen is a huge guy at 185lbs, and I think his strength and wrestling will lead him to a decision win.

Demian Maia vs. Chris Weidman

The first fight of the night is a really interesting matchup, and I’m very curious to see how this plays out. Maia is a world class jiu-jitsu practitioner and has easily submitted a number of opponents once the fight goes to the ground. He has been working hard to improve his striking and stand-up game.

Chris Weidman, simply put, is a wrestling stud. He is 7-0 in his young career and has taken down and dominated all of his opponents. So it seems that both guys would want to take this fight to the ground. But once there, who has the advantage?

My prediction: I think Demian Maia’s experience and BJJ will be too much for the young Weidman…and Maia will win by submission.

Below are a couple video previews as well.

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