Phil Davis wins, but he's still not Mr. WonderfulPosted on March 27, 2011, 12:56 PM by Anton Gurevich
Last night, UFC hot prospect Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis continued his winning ways inside the Octagon, defeating Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at the main event of Fight Night 24. Davis improved his professional MMA record to 9-0, in what was without a doubt his toughest test so far.
Before we get into in-depth discussion of Davis' performance, it's really important to determine by which criteria we judge his talent. Because if we compare him to the likes of Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Matt Hamill and Thiago Silva, yesterday's performance definitely proved Mr. Wonderful is still not there.
Despite the result, Phil Davis' performance inside the Octagon left a lot to be desired. During the first part of the fight, Davis struggled to display a wide array of Mixed Martial Arts qualities, so necessary for his success in the UFC Light Heavyweight division. Surprisingly gun-shy Rogerio Nogueira controlled the action, defending all four of Phil Davis' takedown attempts in Round 1. The Brazilian was en route to giving Phil Davis the most valuable lesson of his young career.
Yes, it's silly to dismiss Davis' huge potential as a Mixed Martial Artist. He showed a sign of pure excellence in how he adapted to the fight at the end of Round 2. The transition to a single leg takedown was brilliant, and really helped Davis to gain momentum and walk away with a prestigious victory.
But then again, it's the takedowns that awarded Mr. Wonderful his victory. Davis looked uncomfortable on his feet, lacking the quality striking we usually see from the top tier UFC Light Heavyweights.
UFC Fight Night 24 main event told a lot about Nogueira rather than about Phil Davis. Brazilian's counterpunching gameplan cost him a victory, as well as his inability to effectively fight off his back. On paper, Little Nog had all the required tools to win this fight.
Phil Davis performed above my personal expectations, but he still needs at least two or three skill-sharpening fights before we lock him inside the cage against anyone of the UFC's Light Heavyweight elite. Stephan Bonnar is a perfect candidate for a fight against Davis, and could really push the young gun up to his limits.
Photo: Yahoo! Cagewriter