At UFC on FOX 2, Evans shutout Phil Davis with a unanimous decision win in the evening’s main event at Chicago’s United Center.
Davis displayed some improved striking, throwing combinations not seen in previous fights of his. He established a standing offense and traded strikes with Evans. The first round’s momentum changed when Evans caught a Davis kick then tripped him down to the ground. Evans put him in a crucifix and worked in some punches before the end of the round.
Davis slowed down in the second round, while at the same time, Evans began to land punches with more accuracy. Evans caught another Davis kick and followed through with a takedown to finish out the second round on the ground.
Davis had his opponent down early in the third round, but Evans was able to reverse and gain top position. On the feet, Evans did well to score points from the clinch with uppercuts and short punches. Davis scored a takedown, but Evans was able to work his way back to the feet where they would close out the round in a clinch.
Evans’ speed advantage over Davis became more evident in the fourth round. He was able to land strikes a lot quicker and more accurately, while Davis’ punches came slow and with little power. The same theme carried into the final round.
The fifth frame had Evans getting a hold of Davis’ leg and throwing strikes, rocking him as he fell to his back. Overwhelming Davis, Evans controlled the fight to the very end. Just before the final horn, Evans pushed forward and capped the fight off with punches in bunches.
Judges saw Evans winning the fight with scores of 50-45 across the board.
The win wasn’t the kind Evans was looking for. In his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, the victor admitted he wanted to finish Davis, but didn’t find the opening he was seeking.
“I felt like I wanted to put him away and I just didn’t get a chance to land those big punches,” Evans said. “I’m kind of disappointed about it, but when you fight a guy as tough as Phil Davis sometimes things like that happen.”
The win puts Evans in line for a shot at regaining the light heavyweight title held by his former teammate, Jon Jones. When asked about it, Evans said, “this is the monkey on my back that I had to get over. It was hard to really focus on this fight because everyone kept talking about that fight.
“Now that I won, I get an opportunity to fight Jon and I’m very excited about it.”
With the win, Evans improves his record to 22-1-1, but it is unknown if injuries sustained on Saturday night will allow him to fight Jones at UFC 145 in Atlanta. In defeat, Davis drops to 9-1.