Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis Head to Head: Who will win at UFC on FOX 2?Posted on January 26, 2012, 05:56 PM by Trent Reinsmith
This Saturday a possible shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight title will be on the line when Rashad Evans and Phil Davis face off at Chicago’s United Center in the main event of UFC on FOX 2.
While many fans seem to be focusing on the evening’s co-main event, a fight that will pit Chael Sonnen against Michael Bisping, that does not mean that the fight between Evans and Davis is one that should be missed. This is a big test for both fighters, it will go a long way toward deciding of the Evans, the veteran remains a force to be reckoned with in the division or if the young, undefeated, up and coming Davis is as good as his 9-0 record indicates
Here’s Rashad Evans and Phil Davis head to head:
Striking: 65-35 Rashad Evans
This one goes to Rashad for two reasons. First is that he has one punch knockout power and second, he has competed against a lot more high level of competition that Davis has and all but once came out on top.
The one advantage Davis has here is the he has a height and reach advantage and if his striking has advanced since his last bout he may very well be able to utilize those attributes to negate the inside advantage that Evans will have. If Davis can keep Evans to the outside and utilize kicks to break him down and frustrate him, he may have a chance. With that being said, going on past fights, I just can’t give Davis an advantage on how far he may have advanced.
Rashad has dealt with taller opponents before and overcame that disadvantage. If Evans can show patience and get his younger opponent in close while standing he should dominate the striking game. The power he possesses in his hands will put Davis’ chin to the test.
Wrestling: 70-30 Phil Davis
I’m sure everyone has heard Evans disparaging the wrestling skills of Davis and to that have to say, don’t believe it for one minute. Davis was a four time All-American for Penn State and an NCAA champion going 116-17 over his career. You don’t get that far and have that kind of Division One record by having terrible technique.
As far as the difference between MMA wrestling and collegiate wrestling, sure there is some, but for someone that has been wrestling for as long as Davis has, that transition is nothing to be concerned about.
What Davis should be concerned about is the fact that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was able to stuff many of his takedown attempts in his last bout. Perhaps that was due to the fact that Davis may have been training more striking than wrestling, I’m not sure.
If Davis is able to get the fight to the ground his superior wrestling may allow him to grind out a decision as I don’t foresee him allowing Evans the space to escape and get back to his feet.
Clinch: 60-40 Davis
This is a hard one to figure, as these fighters tend not to spend a great deal of time in the clinch. Based on size and strength, I’m going to have to give this one to Davis. If the fight goes to the clinch he can use those attributes to control his smaller opponent.
Ground and Pound: 60-40 Evans
Phil Davis displayed some nice ground and pound during the Nogueira fight, but he did not show that he had the finishing power that Evans does in his hands when facing top-level competition.
The problem Evans will have here is getting Davis to the ground in order for him to assert his dominance. Davis’ high-level wrestling may keep the fight standing.
Photo: Rashad Evans at the UFC 92 weigh-ins at the MGM Grand Ballroom on December 26, 2008 in Las Vegas, NV. Francis Specker