UFC president Dana White endured an anxious night at UFC on Fox 2 while the promotion's fortunes for the first quarter of 2012 hung in the balance. Now that Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen have beaten Phil Davis and Michael Bisping, the UFC will be able to set up two title fights that fans have demanded for a long time: Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans.
Silva vs. Sonnen will be for the middleweight title and is expected to take place this summer in a Brazilian stadium. Sonnen nearly beat Silva in their first bout at UFC 117 but fell into a submission in the fifth round and lost the fight. Fans clamored for an immediate rematch but Sonnen failed a drug test and got himself suspended for many months. In the mean time, Silva has emerged as a huge star in his native Brazil. Silva's vaunted trash talking is expected to infuriate Brazilian fans.
Jones vs. Evans will headline UFC 145 at Atlanta in April. This is another fight that fans have been wanting for over a year. The two were originally teammates at Greg Jackson's famous gym and had vowed not to ever fight one another. Those vows went out the window when Evans had to bow out of a title shot at UFC 128 and Jones took the opportunity in his stead. Jones demolished then-champion Mauricio Rua to take the title.
Jones and Evans then quickly fell out with one another amidst a flurry of recrimination and trash talking but the UFC has struggled to put the two in the cage for over a year. First Jones pulled out of a scheduled bout for hand surgery that he then didn't have. Then Evans fought Tito Ortiz and hurt his hand again. Jones defeated Lyoto Machida in the interval.
Now UFC fans have something to look forward to.