It’s a Wonderful Life: Phil Davis Earns Hard Fought Victory Over Nogueira

March 27, 2011
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Adaptation is defined by Merriam-Webster as a modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment.

Phil Davis found out a lot about adaptation during his fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The former NCAA champion had steam rolled all of his previous opponents in the UFC, but he ran into his toughest test to date on Saturday night in Seattle, and he had to change, modify and fit a new attack to carry him to victory over Nogeuira.

Davis has been called a physical freak and possibly a future contender in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, but taking a fight against a top ten opponent like Nogueira tested the young Pennsylvanian to his core.

A powerful wrestler, Davis simply could not land his double leg on Nogueira during the first five minutes of their fight. Davis tried valiantly, but Nogueira was ready for the attack, and shrugged him off with little struggle.

“I know he’s tough, he’s resilient, he learns, I couldn’t take him down with anything else I saw somebody else doing in the past,” Davis commented about his trouble getting Nogueira down early.

Once he realized his primary takedown wasn’t working, Davis switched things up and decided to go for a single leg instead, which worked effectively for the remainder of the fight. With time ticking away in the 2nd round, Davis was able to take advantage of the bad position he put Nogueira in, and blasted away with punches and some rib shattering knees to his midsection.

Realizing he found a more effective weapon, Davis slipped inside a few more times in the remaining time during the fight to take Nogueira down, using the single leg attack again and again. Davis stayed on top and fought a smart fight to pull out the unanimous decision win.

Following the victory, Davis admitted to having several injuries that plagued him throughout this training camp, but he was happy he was able to get through them and take this fight.

The win will likely earn Davis a slot among the top ten light heavyweights in the world, but even by his own admission he still has a lot to learn before challenging for a title. For now however, Davis is still a raw piece of clay that’s just begun to be molded into what one day will likely be a champion in the UFC.


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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  • shakejunt

    convincing win, but where the hell were the leg kicks?

  • sgilliss

    Simply put, Davis is NOT ready for Bones.

    He needs a LOT of training w/ striking and defense and at least 3 or 4 fights to put said work to the test.

    Where Davis, a Div I NCAA champion was unable to take down Lil’ Nog, what chance will he have against Bones?

    Every time Jones has faced a so-called superior wrestler, he’s dominated them. In fact, he’s downright embarrassed them.

    If Davis were to take on Jones now (and thankfully his latest comments suggest he won’t), Bones would dispatch of Davis as readily as the others.

    Only fools rush in, Mr Wonderful.

  • sgilliss

    BTW, was anyone else as impressed w/ Lil’ Nog’s defense as I was?

    I thought he did great at blocking Phils head kicks. His two-legged take down defense was great and his ground defense seemed to fluster Davis as well.

    Now if he had only mastered the one-legged takedown defense …