The main event at UFC on FOX 2, between Rashad Evans and Phil Davis, was a classic case of master and understudy, a seasoned veteran matched against a promising upstart.
Not surprisingly, the master took his pupil to school, earning a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight title against former teammate Jon Jones.
Albeit in less-than-impressive fashion.
Despite owning a three-inch edge in height and a four-inch advantage in reach on "Suga" Rashad, "Mr. Wonderful" struggled to sustain much of anything against the former champion.
Davis attempted to use his length to his advantage, but, more often than not, either failed to land any blows of consequence or found himself stymied when Evans closed the gap on him.
Evans had little trouble turning Davis' kicks against him, too, as he scored takedowns on Davis by grabbing his leg to close each of the first two rounds.
Despite both combatants boasting strong wrestling pedigrees, it was Evans who truly separated himself on the ground. Davis struggled to get Evans down, and when he did, he had even more difficulty keeping Evans there.
On those occasions when Rashad didn't turn the tables completely, he still managed to get up before Davis exacted much damage.
Davis kept things closer in the stand-up phases of the fight, though Evans still owned the evening when the fists came out.
That's not to say that Suga Rashad necessarily dominated Phil Davis, or that Mr. Wonderful didn't acquit himself well.
Quite the opposite, actually. As untouchable as Evans seemed at times, he struggled to put Davis away, allowing the 27-year-old with only 10 fights under his belt to hang around and show off the considerable potential that's made him a top-10 Light Heavyweight.
Davis clearly has some work to do, but with time and the proper dedication, he will be a title contender in due time.
As for Evans, the form he displayed hardly suggested that he'd be able to hang in the Octagon with Jon "Bones" Jones.
Sure, Evans may know Jones' strengths and weaknesses (if he has any) better than most, but if he can't completely outclass a lesser opponent, how can he even hope to hang with a youngster who's arguably the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the game today?
We'll all have a better answer to that question when these two friends-turned-foes have the opportunity to settle their scores, once and for all, in April.