Although he got taken to school by Rashad Evans Saturday night, Phil Davis will be a force to be reckoned with in the UFC's light heavyweight division.
In the UFC's second outing on FOX, Evans, the much more experienced fighter, was in control from start to finish. All three judges awarded all five rounds to Evans in a unanimous 50-45 victory.
Despite the lopsided defeat, Davis has a bright future in mixed martial arts.
This was only the first loss of his professional career, dropping him to 9-1 (5-1 in the UFC). Though he's relatively inexperienced, he's already registered wins over Brian Stann, Alexander Gustaffson, Tim Boetsch and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
He tried to take down his first elite opponent in Evans, but the former champ picked him apart. Still, Davis is bursting with potential.
Standing at 6'2" and 205 pounds, Davis is an absolute physical specimen. He's fast, explosive, and with his massive wingspan, he'll have a reach advantage over anybody not named Jon Jones.
He's also a highly skilled wrestler, as evidenced by his impressive collegiate career at Penn State. Davis was a four-time NCAA All-American and won the 2008 national championship at 197 pounds. He hasn't knocked anybody out in the UFC yet, but if his striking ever catches up to his grappling, he will be incredibly dangerous.
His loss to Evans was a little disheartening, but it will only make him better. The only way to improve is by taking on the best, and if your record gets blemished in the process, so be it.
At 27 years old, Davis is just now entering the prime of his career. If he steadily improves over the next few years, he will capture the light heavyweight crown before he calls it a career.