UFC on FOX 2 Predictions: Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2012

Courtesy of MMAMania.com
Courtesy of MMAMania.com

Rashad Evans and Phil Davis are set to meet in one of the card's most significant bouts when both competitors square off in the main event at UFC on Fox 2.

For Evans, he has his opportunity to finally get his long-awaited title shot against bitter rival Jon Jones, while Davis can attempt to thrust himself near the upper echelon of the light heavyweight division. 

Evans has fought consistent competition since losing the light heavyweight crown in devastating fashion to Lyoto Machida in 2009. Earning victories over Thiago Silva, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Tito Ortiz has certainly helped his claim in regaining another shot and helped him rebuild into a more well-rounded fighter. Had the former light heavyweight champion not sustained an injury prior to his title bout with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128 last year, his luck might of changed. 

But after returning from a 14-month layoff to defeat Ortiz last summer at UFC 133, Evans' stock immediately rose and it was a well-deserved win to enter himself back into the title picture.

Davis has been a highly-touted prospect for the past few years as he has steadily climbed the rankings in hopes of capturing UFC gold for himself. Built and blessed with a chiseled physique and athleticism, the former Penn State All-American has transitioned well into mixed martial arts since entering the sport in 2008. 

While "Mr.Wonderful" has gradually moved up the proverbial ladder utilizing his strong wrestling skills and raw power, his striking still remains a work in progress and it is certainly not as polished or as technical as Evans'.

Like Davis, Evans entered MMA with a strong wrestling background, but he also became well-versed in other areas. Knockout victories over Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin proved to fans that "Suga" was more versatile than once previously thought and it has helped him become a mainstay among the elite of the division.

Davis' best chance is to keep this bout on the ground as early as possible so that he is able to neutralize Evans' stand-up and wear him down with his wrestling ability and size. However, being a much more well-rounded, experienced fighter than Davis at this point, Evans has more tools at his disposal, which can prevent him from turning this into a wrestling match.

Expect Davis to have some moments in this bout as he utilizes his wrestling skills whenever he can, but Evans will eventually break down his opponent with his striking and speed to make Davis feel hesitant and uncomfortable.

Ultimately, Evans should do enough to get the unanimous decision.