UFC 163 Results: What's Next for Phil Davis
Phil Davis has one of the most remarkable records in MMA and, save one hiccup against Rashad Evans last year, is virtually undefeated in 14 fights.
However, that shot is unlikely to materialise based on that performance. Despite the fact that Davis is a clear talent at 205 pounds, the win against Machida will go down as one of the biggest robberies of the year and certainly not a performance that warrants a chance to take Jon Jones’ belt.
Davis was outclassed in the stand-up contest against the elusive Brazilian, and his wrestling, for the most part, was neutralised by some of the most effective takedown defence ever seen inside the Octagon.
It’s a tragedy for Machida, who has been so close to a title shot, that this loss will mean that he’ll have to wait a long time before he’s able to have a shot at avenging his loss to Jones from 2011.
For Davis, he’ll have to do much more before he can prove he’s ready to challenge for the belt.
Right now, Jones, who has taken out one challenger after another at 205, is getting ready to take on Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in September. After the Swede, there are only a handful of challengers left for Jones and it’s not inconceivable that Davis will be back in the reckoning very soon, even after that performance.
But after Saturday night, it’s likely that Glover Teixeira—the 33-year-old Brazilian who’s been making his own waves in the division—will likely be given the nod for a title match.
Teixeira has a run stretching back to 2005 and his win over James Te Huna at UFC 160 in May capped an incredible 19-fight winning run. He’s due to fight Ryan Bader in September, which is perfect timing for him to step up for a title match after the Jones/Gustafsson match that same month.
That means Davis will likely have to take another fight at light heavyweight before he can be considered a contender. Considering the fact that he’s just defeated the No. 1 contender at that division, and Teixeira is tied up, there aren't many options left for Davis.
But the few there are could include Dan Henderson, who was also recently considered a contender for the 205 strap until he was defeated by Machida earlier this year. Henderson is ranked seventh in the light heavyweight division, and a win over Davis could help him too in his own title aspiration.
Or perhaps Davis could take on Gegard Mousasi next, another top-10 light heavyweight he is yet to face. Mousasi is a former 205-pound champion in Strikeforce and, despite rumours that he’s considering dropping to middleweight, could be easily tempted to take on a big name fighter like Davis.
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