In a night that featured a couple of mismatches, No. 5 ranked light heavyweight Phil Davis and No. 7 ranked Ryan Bader ended up being an extremely close match-up on the UFC on Fox 14 main card in Stockholm on Saturday.
The two former All-American NCAA wrestlers canceled each other out when it came to their strongest attribute. Bader fended off Davis’ first seven takedown attempts. The 2008 NCAA National Champion finally got Bader down in the second frame, but Bader quickly got back to his feet. Davis delivered knees to the body inside the clinch to win the round.
The fight was even through the first two frames. In the final stanza, Bader landed his jab early, nearly closing Davis’ right eye. Davis came to life in the final 90 seconds, landing hard leg kicks and combinations. He exploded forward looking to secure a takedown in the closing seconds, but Bader gained dominant position.
After fifteen minutes of fighting there wasn’t a clear-cut winner, but Bader looked to have squeaked out the win. The judges scored the fight a split decision in favor or Bader.
The win moves Bader’s winning streak to four consecutive fights. For Davis, it was his second loss in his last three outings.