What better way to follow up the UFC’s debut on Fox than with a main event featuring an undefeated phenom and a former world champion? This Saturday at the United Center in Chicago, the irresistible force in Phil Davis, meets the immovable object in Rashad Evans at UFC on Fox 2.

Motivation is not going to be an issue for Evans. Not only would a victory land him a title shot, but it would also put him in the cage with his nemesis and current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. It is crucial that Evans does not look too far ahead though, as Davis is an incredibly tough opponent and a defeat would put him right back into the 205-pound shuffle. Having held the title before and with only a single loss, the pressure is squarely on Evans here.

For Davis, this is the best opportunity of his career by far. If you mention a powerful, athletic fighter who has torn through the division in the past two years, people immediately tend to think of the aforementioned Jones. The time is now for Davis to make his mark, take the bull by the horns and carve out a UFC legacy of his own. A loss would by no means end his title aspirations, but it would set him back considerably. If he were able to secure the victory however, Davis would surely gain the respect and appreciation he richly deserves.

Evans vs. Davis headlines a three-fight main card which will be broadcast live on Fox, beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

The remaining two contests feature a battle between Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping with massive middleweight title implications, and an intriguing clash of experience and raw talent as Demian Maia takes on Chris Weidman.

The MMA Corner’s panel of Richard Wilcoxon, Rob Tatum and Duncan Price will break down the three main card bouts in this edition of the Round Table.

MW: Demian Maia (15-3) vs. Chris Weidman (7-0)

Wilcoxon: This is the first fight on the card that was altered by the injury to Mark Munoz. Originally, Maia was scheduled to face Michael Bisping. However, when Munoz was injured, Bisping was moved in to face Sonnen and Weidman was brought in on late notice to face Maia.

Weidman is an All-American wrestler out of Hofstra. He trains under former welterweight champion Matt Serra and has shown off slick submissions since joining the UFC, ending his last two fights in the first round.

Maia was a BJJ superstar before he ever entered the Octagon. He rose up through the UFC and became a solid top-10 fighter. However, it was an embarrassing loss to the champion, Anderson Silva, that showed Maia the holes in his game. He has been focusing on improving his striking ever since.

There is a lot of hype surrounding the fast rising star of Weidman. However, this is a big step up in competition and he is taking the fight on short notice. Weidman does have the wrestling to dictate where this fight happens, but I am not convinced he is the better fighter standing and his slick BJJ will be countered by Maia’s. This is a much closer fight than people seem to think. I am taking Weidman to use his wrestling to grind out a decision.

Tatum: While Richard has painted a solid picture of this fight, he’s failed to convince me that Weidman’s wrestling will be enough. Maia has faced wrestlers with better credentials than Weidman in Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz. He finished Sonnen by triangle choke and dropped a narrow decision to Munoz.

I do believe that Weidman may be the next 185-pound superstar, but I find it hard to pick anyone that takes a fight on only two weeks’ notice, especially against one of the most dangerous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts on the planet in Maia. Weidman’s lack of experience may play a huge factor in this bout.

Although it has been a while since Maia has submitted an opponent, it’s largely due to the evolution of his striking game, as Richard alluded to. Maia is no longer just a BJJ fighter and should be comfortable both on the feet and on the mat.

I do agree with Richard that this fight is going to be close, but I disagree on who will have their hand raised at the end. Look for Maia to use his sweeps and submission attempts to outpoint Weidman and take the unanimous decision win.

Price: I’ve been high on Weidman since I researched him for his UFC debut against Alessio Sakara. That being said, I echo Rob’s sentiment that he is taking this fight on short notice and it will be incredibly difficult for him to defeat Maia. This bout has come maybe a year too soon, but I do believe Weidman is a future middleweight champion.

On the flip side, Maia was already preparing to fight and will only have been required to make minor changes to his preparation in order to face Weidman at his best. Maia is incredibly experienced and I believe at this stage in their respective careers he holds an advantage in every area except wrestling.

If this match-up had been scheduled all along, I would be tossing a coin to pick the winner, but with Weidman stepping up as a late replacement, I think it will just be too much of an ask. Weidman will take the action to the ground once too often, the lack of experience and shortened camp will cost him, and Maia takes the win via submission in the second round.

MW: Chael Sonnen (26-11-1) vs. Michael Bisping (22-3)

Tatum: The co-main event features a middleweight collision that will determine who will be next to challenge Anderson Silva for the title. The fight was originally slated to feature former title challenger Sonnen taking on fast-rising Mark Munoz, but a last-minute injury to Munoz saw the promotion move Bisping in to face Sonnen.

For Sonnen, the bout represents the opportunity to get a second crack at Silva. Sonnen was famously submitted in the final minutes of his UFC 117 bout with the champion. Following a year long suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, Sonnen returned to finish Brian Stann at UFC 136. Ever since, Sonnen has politicked for a rematch with the Brazilian. Sonnen carries a record of 7-3 over his last ten bouts, but all three losses have come by submission against Brazilians. Luckily for the Oregon native, he won’t be facing one in the British striking specialist Bisping.

Bisping has slowly and methodically worked his way through the ranks of the 185-pound division. Since winning The Ultimate Fighter at light heavyweight, Bisping has largely avoided the perils of wrestlers and dangerous ground fighters. When he faced strong wrestlers, he was outpointed by a very raw Rashad Evans, took a controversial win over Matt Hamill, and was knocked out by Dan Henderson. The fight with Sonnen is a chance to establish himself as an elite fighter in the division. Despite an impressive 8-2 record over his last ten, Bisping has faltered against top-level competition like Henderson and Wanderlei Silva over that stretch.

There’s a reason that Sonnen is a huge favorite heading into this fight. His wrestling credentials are some of the best in MMA and I fully expect him to put Bisping on his back over and over. The glimmer of hope for Bisping is that nearly 60 percent of Sonnen’s wins have come by decision, so he’ll likely have the full 15 minutes to find a finish. Unfortunately for the Brit, only one of his 14 finishes by strikes was a true knockout and Sonnen has never been KO’d.

Sonnen takes this fight by a lopsided and embarrassing decision, earning another shot at his nemesis, Silva.

Price: Much as it pains me to say it, being British myself, I agree almost unerringly with Rob.

I am not a fan of some of the things that Sonnen pulls in and out of the Octagon, but I will say one thing, the guy can fight. The lure of another shot at Silva’s middleweight title has to have Sonnen chomping at the bit to destroy Bisping, a man who he has described in the past as “snot-nosed.” As Sonnen demonstrated in the first fight with Silva, he knows where his strengths lie and is able to execute a game-plan, well almost.

Now is the time for Bisping. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if he loses on his current run at the title, I question whether he will ever get a shot at the 185-pound champion. With Bisping stepping in on relatively short notice and to face an opponent with a very different skill-set than he would have been preparing for originally, is a really tough task.

Once again, Rob pretty much hit the nail on the head as to how these two stack up against each other. Bisping has not traditionally done well against wrestlers, even if they don’t try and grapple with him, and Sonnen has been solid when facing strikers in the past. I know that Bisping thinks he can submit Sonnen and, whilst I don’t rule it out completely, I don’t see it happening.

Unfortunately and rather boringly, Sonnen will grind out a unanimous decision by taking “The Count” down and controlling the action on the mat. Much as I would love Bisping to pull off the victory, his only hope is that Sonnen wants to knock him out and decides to spar on the feet.

Wilcoxon: Both of my colleagues have done an excellent job of breaking down this fight and I don’t have a lot to add. These two trash-talkers were supposed to coach TUF opposite of each other and square off in December. However, Sonnen’s suspension prevented that from happening. It is either a little disappointing or a very good thing, depending on your view of non-stop trash talking, that now an injury has put the two against each other on short notice, making it impossible for the fight to be built up by these two master hype men.

Bisping is a striker who has ever-improving wrestling and submission game. Through his career, he has crushed lower-level fighters while struggling with the upper echelon.

Sonnen is a long-time veteran. As my colleagues mentioned, he is a wrestler with a recently improving submission game.

Mark Munoz’s injury was a blessing for Sonnen and a curse for Bisping. I would have favored Munoz over Sonnen and Bisping over Maia. But in this case, Sonnen is the clear favorite. However, I don’t think I am as down on Bisping’s chances as much as some of my colleagues. I feel that Sonnen is over-hyped. His performance against Silva has everyone thinking he is better than he is. He is still a guy who lost to Jeremy Horn three times in his career, once by strikes. If I was in Vegas, I would put a little money on Bisping for the +325 to +400 odds he is getting. But in just picking a fight, I will stick with Sonnen by decision.

LHW: Rashad Evans (16-1-1) vs. Phil Davis (9-0)

Price: This match-up has been a long time coming, as the two were originally scheduled to square off at UFC 133. Unfortunately, Davis was forced to withdraw due to injury and Evans went on to defeat Tito Ortiz, who stepped in as a last-minute replacement.

Evans is desperate to get the light heavyweight title back after dropping the belt to Lyoto Machida in his only career loss at UFC 98. Since then, he has seen limited action due to injuries both to himself and to potential opponents. In his most impressive outing in recent times, Evans dominated fellow former champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 114. He controlled the powerful Jackson throughout the contest, utilizing his wrestling to score a unanimous decision victory.

In terms of raw talent and ability, Davis is one of the best fighters competing in the MMA today. He broke onto the scene just two years ago by defeating the highly-rated Brian Stann at UFC 109. Since then, Davis has blazed a trail through the division, defeating the likes of Alexander Gustafsson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira en route to an undefeated 9-0 record. His strength is clearly grappling, as Davis was a former NCAA Division I wrestler.

If you look at these two combatants on paper, this would appear to be a clash of two wrestlers, but each man has much more to offer. On the one hand, I do believe Davis holds the edge in terms of wrestling ability and he has some nasty submissions should the action go the mat. On the other hand, Evans is far more dangerous on the feet and he has more experience against top-level competition.

All of which makes this a tough one to call. You have to weigh up the potential, talent and exuberance of Davis against the experience, power and composure of Evans. My concern is that Davis hasn’t faced a top-ten ranked light heavyweight yet. The step up in class will knock him down a peg or two, as Rashad wins by TKO in the second round.

Wilcoxon: As Duncan said, this is an interesting match-up. It places one of the best in the world against one of the best prospects in the world.

Phil Davis is a former NCAA champion and four-time All-American. If this was a straight wrestling match, I have little doubt Davis would win. His wrestling has transitioned nicely into MMA and is the foundation for everything he does in the Octagon.

Rashad is a former collegiate wrestler as well, but was never as decorated as Davis. Evans has evolved from a grind-it-out wrestler to a striker with strong wrestling if he needs it.

Unless Davis grinds out a lay-and-pray victory, I just don’t see many options for him to win. Rashad is the better striker and has shown more power, and as a veteran I would expect him to have better submissions than what we have seen so far from Davis. I do think that at some point Davis will challenge for the title and may win it, but he is just too green at this point. Rashad wins by a second-round TKO.

Tatum: It would be hard to dispute anything that Richard and Duncan have laid out in this fight. While Davis is largely considered the future of the division, Evans represents a significant step up in competition for the wrestling stalwart. Couple that with the fact that’s he coming off a knee injury that has kept him out of action since March of last year, and his chances look bleak.

For Evans, a win marks a chance to challenge former teammate Jon Jones for the title. That stipulation alone makes me think that Evans will be the more motivated fighter when the cage door shuts. The former champion has been eager to get his belt back for nearly two years, but injuries have always put him in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Although I believe that Davis is the more athletic of the two fighters, Evans’ experience and striking prowess will be the difference. Davis will have to survive five rounds with a very dangerous opponent and I just don’t see it happening. I’ll echo my colleagues and pick Evans to end the bout by TKO in the second frame.

Top Photo: Rashad Evans (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)