Despite Controversial Decision, Phil Davis Becomes A Light Heavyweight Contender

By Jeremy Green
Phil Davis UFC
Jason Silva-USA Today Sports

UFC 163 kicked off last weekend, which featured an important light heavyweight bout between Phil Davis and Lyoto Machida. Up for grabs was a chance to fight for the belt, which is currently being held by Jon Jones. Both were looking to deliver impressive performances, but the fight turned out to be a let down.

In the first, Davis and Machida measured each other, often landing kicks. It wasn’t until Machida burst out a flurry of punches that fans actually saw some action. Davis would respond by getting a takedown, which proved to be vital. The second played out much like the first, where Machida gauged Davis, looking to deliver counter strikes. Davis would out-land Machida in total strikes in rounds one and two, and the takedowns proved to be the difference in the fight.

The judges ultimately awarded Davis a unanimous decision, a decision that had many fans and pros were crying foul. Even though both fighters didn’t impress in this highly anticipated bout, Davis got a much-needed win, and is one step closer to a title shot. Sure, Davis didn’t set the MMA world on fire with the win, but he showed increased stand up abilities, which is impressive considering he was going up against one of the best counter-strikers in the division.

Davis is not a judge, so he shouldn’t feel any shame in getting the win. It helps him further progress his title dreams, and he is maybe one more win away from a shot at the coveted light heavyweight bout. As they say, never leave it in the hands of the judges, and Machida may have to adjust his fighting style, where he will have to be more active, if he ever wants to stand out on the judges’ scorecards.

So what’s next for Davis? Jones is set to take on Alexander Gustafsson, and Glover Teixeira is more than likely going to get the next title shot if he can defeat Ryan Bader. Chael Sonnen is facing Shogun Rua, and the winner of this bout will be ideal for Davis’s next opponent, as it would give Davis a chance to further build his brand and his techniques.

Did Davis deserve the unanimous decision, or was Machida robbed out of another title shot? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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