Rashad Evans proved himself the worthy number one contender at light heavyweight once again tonight in the main event of UFC on Fox 2, edging the impressive Phil Davis at every turn to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Davis hung in the fight until the end, continuing to fight back when it had been clear for some time that Evans had an answer for everything he could throw at him. The former UFC 205-pound champ was unable to dispatch of Davis within the fight’s five-round limit, but he did just about everything short, beating down a talented rising prospect to earn a title shot against his principal rival, Jonny “Bones” Jones.
“I felt good about the performance,” Evans said post-fight. “You know, you always want to do better and I strive to do better. There’s a couple of missed opportunities that I wished that I would have capitalized on a little bit more, but you know, you get better from those things. Phil Davis, you know, he did a good job to keep me from capitalizing on those positions. But, when you have it in your mind you wanna finish a fight in a certain way and it doesn’t happen, it’s kinda disappointing.”
For his part, Davis is looking at the loss in a positive light, seeing the fight as a measuring stick for his position in the light heavyweight division, showing him where he’s at now and how much further
he has to go to compete at the championship level.
“Rashad, you know, he’s a former champion, a good fighter. It’s one of those things, I look at the margin in which I lost and I say, ‘There’s that much just to be able to beat a former champion. How much more do I need to get better before I can be the champion?’ He just helped me understand where I’m at,” said the 27-year-old.
With his shutout performance, Evans improves to 17-1-1 and gets the chance to once and for all settle things with UFC light heavyweight champ and former training partner Jon Jones. The two are scheduled to do battle this April 21 at UFC 145 in Atlanta, Georgia, and Evans is eagerly anticipating getting back to work in preparation for the date.
“I’ll be ready to fight in April, whatever,” Evans said. “There’s a couple of things I need to work on and I look forward to going back to training camp and working on those things that I need to. But, I’m to get I’m excited to get an opportunity to finally fight Jon and give the people the fight that they wanna see.”
Davis picked up the first loss of his ten-fight career tonight and will head back to the drawing board to plot his rise back to the top.
UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis went down at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. You can check out full results of the event by clicking here.