UFC on FOX 2 Results: 5 Fights to Get Phil Davis Back on Track
The former UFC light heavyweight champion took Davis to school for five rounds in a rather forgettable main event.
Davis has proven that he is a legitimate top-10 talent, but he didn't seem ready for the upper-echelon level of competition.
There are top-10 level fighters, and then there are guys like Evans, Jon Jones, Dan Henderson, Lyoto Machida, Shogun Rua and Quinton Jackson.
At just 27 years of age, Davis has more than enough time to make the necessary adjustments and come back stronger.
The UFC will have to make a very difficult decision when deciding on Davis' next opponent.
Do you put him against another upper-echelon opponent, or do you ease the foot off the gas and put him against notable, non-ranked opposition?
1. Stephan Bonnar
"The American Psycho," Stephan Bonnar has looked rather impressive as of late.
Currently riding a three-fight win streak, Bonnar is the perfect opponent for a prospect like Davis looking to rebound from a loss.
Bare in mind, this wouldn't be an easy outing. Bonnar seems to have found his stride, and he is also looking for an opportunity to propel himself into the light heavyweight rankings.
2. Vladimir Matyushenko
It's becoming a bit of an initiation for rising prospects to face Vladimir Matyushenko.
Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson both used Matyushenko to catapult their careers. It makes sense for the UFC to offer this fight to Davis as a potential rebound fight.
Matyushenko isn't an easy mark by any means. He's a seasoned veteran who always shows up to perform against anyone the UFC puts in front of him.
3. Rich Franklin
You probably wouldn't find Rich Franklin's name on any top-10 light heavyweight rankings, but "Ace" has always been considered an upper-echelon fighter.
A win over Franklin would go a long way in helping Davis move past the loss to Evans. For Franklin, he might consider this a final run at a UFC title, as a win would thrust him into the top-10 rankings.
4. Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva is ready to return to action after serving a one-year suspension for a failed drug test.
Davis would be a prime candidate to roll out the welcome mat for the Brazilian. Stylistically, this could be the toughest bout on this list for Davis.
Silva is a world class striker and black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
5. Forrest Griffin
If the UFC forgoes the Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin rubber match, a bout between Davis and the original "Ultimate Fighter" is the most logical decision.
This especially rings true if the fight could be a five-rounder.
Griffin's work rate has always been second to none, and he would be an incredible challenge for the former NCAA Division I wrestling champ.