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The Octagon Comes to United Center for a UFC Three-Fight Card

By Kim Bellware in News on Dec 9, 2011 9:20PM


Santa must have read our list and checked it twice, because we're finally getting what we've always wanted for Christmas: a pony an Ultimate Fighting Championship event to call our own!

A three-fight card of MMA badassery will hit the United Center Jan. 28, marking the Ultimate Fighting Championship's first return to Chicago since UFC 90 in 2008.

Two of the fights on the card will have number one contenders facing off against one another: former Big-Ten wrestling stars Rashad Evans (of Chicago) and Phil Davis will square-off in a five-round match for the light-heavyweight championship while Chael Sonnen will fight Mark Muñoz for the middleweight title. Rounding out the card is the middleweight fight between Michael Bisping and jiu-jitsu specialist Demian Maia.

The event will also air on Fox as a two-hour broadcast, billed as UFC on Fox 2. UFC's inaugural showing on Fox featured the epic letdown of a match between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos that lasted all of eight seconds before the knockout.

Fox will only air a two-hour time slot for the fights, but UFC will bring undercard events throughout the week to Chicago. According to the Sun-Times, UFC President Dana White promised the local events would include weigh-ins, public fighter workouts and news conferences.

Hearing from the fighters already, those undercard events could make for a colorful week. At the announcement of "UFC on Fox 2" Wednesday, middleweight contender Chael Sonnen said:

“Everybody up here is grateful to be up here on Fox. They’re like ‘Fox, thanks.’ Everybody but me. I would say Fox should welcome me. They’ve been telling people for years you’ve got the American Idol, and now you finally do.”

That's only slightly better than light-heavyweight contender Evans, who made the tremendously ill-timed and clueless comment during his dis of Penn State grad Davis when he stated:

“I guarantee [Davis] is the first one to take a shot. I’m going to put my hands on you worse than that dude did to those kids at Penn State.”

Maybe no one told Evans that he's not competing for the "Ultimate Fucktard Championship" belt? It almost makes us a little wistful for the ol' days of UFC when class acts like Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock were touching gloves. We'll wait to pass total judgement on these new fighters, though more may be coming to Chicago if UFC on Fox 2 is a success: White has already stated he won't keep the Windy City waiting another three years before the UFC brings the Octagon back to the city.

"UFC on Fox 2" will air Saturday, Jan. 28 on Fox, 7 p.m. Tickets for the live event are on sale at the United Center ticket office or through Ticketmaster, $40-$250