Chael Sonnen vs. Mark Munoz Gets Co-Main Slot at UFC on Fox 2 in Chicago

Mark Munoz

Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis official for main event

As suspected, the co-main event of UFC on Fox 2 will be determine the next challenger for middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Chael Sonnen will face Mark Munoz on the Jan. 28 card at the United Center in Chicago. The UFC made the fight official on Saturday. The main event will be an already reported light heavyweight bout between former champion Rashad Evans and Phil Davis.

Sonnen had said as recently as Wednesday that he was unsure who he was fighting next – and a rumored bout with Munoz was not a guarantee. He even hinted that Saturday’s main event at the TUF 14 Finale between Michael Bisping and Jason “Mayhem” Miller could have ramifications in terms of determining who his next opponent would be. Earlier this week, sources indicated to Heavy.com that the UFC was considering a fight between Bisping and Sonnen – should Bisping defeat Miller. But Bisping-Miller apparently won’t matter, and Sonnen-Munoz is a done deal.

The main event between Evans and Davis is a fight that was booked for UFC 133 in August. But Davis had to pull out with a knee injury, leaving Evans to fight Tito Ortiz, a fight he won by TKO in the second round. That fight is expected to determine the next challenger for the light heavyweight title. Champion Jon Jones puts that belt on the line next week against Lyoto Machida.

Sonnen (26-11-1, 7-5 UFC) is coming off a submission win over Brian Stann at UFC 136 in October. That was his first fight in more than a year after serving a suspension for banned substances, as well as time away from the UFC following a mortgage fraud money laundering conviction. Sonnen remains the closest challenger yet to Silva. He took the champion into the fifth round at UFC 117 in August 2010, dominating him for the first four rounds before tapping to an armbar-triangle in the fifth.

Munoz (12-2, 7-2 UFC) has won seven of eight fights since dropping his UFC debut by headkick knockout against Matt Hamill at UFC 96. Munoz went on to win three straight before dropping a split decision to Yushin Okami. After that, it’s been four straight wins over Aaron Simpson, CB Dollaway and Demian Maia. And last month at UFC 138, Munoz stopped Chris Leben by TKO after two rounds with a doctor’s stoppage.

Evans (16-1-1, 11-1-1 UFC) has won three straight since losing his light heavyweight title to Machida at UFC 98 in May 2009. But a string of injuries to both him and opponents has left him with just those three fights in the last 30 months. Evans has wins over Thiago Silva, rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Ortiz. He has badly wanted a shot at Jones, a former friend and teammate at Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque, N.M. The fallout between the two that happened forced Evans out of Jackson’s camp and into the newly formed Blackzilians squad in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Davis (9-0, 5-0 UFC) will return for the first time since March when he beat Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 24. Davis won all four of his UFC fights in 2010, the year he premiered with the promotion, alternating decisions and finishes over Stann, Alexander Gustafsson, Rodney Wallace and Tim Boetsch.

The UFC announced a press conference for Wednesday at the United Center in Chicago to official announce the card. That press conference will feature all four fighters, plus UFC president Dana White, and will be open to the public starting at 1 p.m. Central. The card will be the first UFC on Fox event officially under the seven-year deal between the two promotions. The UFC held one-fight, one-hour broadcast of a heavyweight title fight, that was not part of the deal, last month on Fox. Tickets for UFC on Fox 2 go on sale to the public Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. Eastern. Tickets will be priced between $40 and $250 for the full card. The Fox broadcast will be two hours and will air at 8 p.m. Eastern on Jan. 28.

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