A grudge match was consummated on Saturday at UFC 159 when light heavyweights Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes stepped into the cage together after months of trash talk. But fans hoping for a heated contest between two elite grapplers were probably disappointed, as three tepid rounds of kickboxing resulted in a decision win for Davis.
Davis (11-1-1), a national champion wrestler in college, stayed well outside the range of Magalhaes (10-6-1), a jiu-jitsu ace with rudimentary stand-up skills. Davis repeatedly landed a one-two combination that resulted in him landing 105 strikes to Magalhaes' 49, according to UFC statistics.
What we'll remember about this fight
Davis pumped his jab over and over again into the face of Magalhaes, who didn't seem to grasp that he was involved in an active MMA cage fight.
What we learned about Phil Davis
His striking has improved, though it was a bit of a one-note song, as he repeatedly threw the same combination on a perplexed and exhausted-looking Magalhaes. Still, it was probably the best striking performance of Davis' MMA career.
What we learned about Vinny Magalhaes
He needs a striking coach. He really does. Davis exposed the stand-up phase as a massive weakness in Magalhaes' game. All Davis had to do was stay on the outside and keep firing the same combination. Magalhaes had no answer and simply stood flat-footed in front of his opponent. It was not impressive.
What's next for Davis
I'd love to see him tangle with another great wrestler. I suggest Ryan Bader, who is scheduled to return to action this summer after an extended injury layoff.
What's next for Magalhaes
Brandon Vera is back and spoiling for a fight, any fight, after an impressive but ultimately unsuccessful performance against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. A fight with Magalhaes would help better determine the location of both men.