Phil Davis tried to continue his climb back into title contention, while Vinny Magalhaes tried to continue establishing himself in his second run through the Octagon at UFC 159 on Saturday night in New Jersey.
Davis, however, immediately showed why he is considered one of the Top 10 light heavyweight fighters in the world.
He quickly established has outside range, using his reach, hand speed, and movement to land frequent punch combinations, keeping Magalhaes from establishing a rhythm.
Davis rocked Magalhaes in the opening round with a head kick and followed with a consistent punching attack, but seemed content to keep the pressure up without trying to rush things.
He continued to utilize his superior boxing in round two, taking over the fight, picking Magalhaes apart and wearing him down. Davis stayed away from anything that even resembled the ground with the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
Unable to get Davis to the mat, Magalhaes was stymied on the feet.
Davis danced in and out for the remainder of the fight, racking up points with his combinations, while using his head and foot movement to avoid anything Magalhaes fired in return.
Davis remained in the win column with a unanimous decision victory over The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 runner-up, but didn’t endear himself to many fans, who were booing at fight’s end.
Although he was unable to finish the fight, Davis’ stand-up game showed marked improvement, for which he gave partial credit to Magalhaes.
“I’ve been working a lot of things for this fight,” said Davis. “There was a lot of back and forth before this fight. But I wanna say thanks to Vinny for elevating my game.”
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