And here we go with the main event!
Based purely off of my picture selection, one can deduce I am not the biggest fan of Rashad Evans. However, my dislike of him does not influence my opinion of him as a fighter. As for his opponent, I am very high on him, but he remains only a prospect. And while undefeated, I think this just might be too much of a step up in competition.
People have a strong tendency to forget things. One of the best examples of this would be how everyone has forgotten just how good Rashad Evans is. In his entire career, his only loss is to Lyoto Machida. He has wins over fighters like Stephan Bonnar, Michael Bisping, Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Thiago Silva and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. I think that's quite a list of fighters to have beaten, no matter how you look at it.
His wrestling is among the best in the division, and his striking is very crisp. He also proved he has legitimate knockout power in his fists in his fights with Jason Lambert and Liddell. He is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, but I personally would say that was more of an "honorary" belt than an earned one.
As for Phil Davis, you have a very exciting fighter who is only matched athletically by Jon "Bones" Jones. His wrestling is arguably top three in the division, as he has taken fighters down consistently throughout his tenure with the UFC.
He also has very underrated defense, as he has never been taken down. Another aspect of his game that most consider to be a negative would be his striking, but he is only hit by 19 percent of the strikes sent his way, according to UFC.com. That is a pretty safe number, in my opinion.
His Jiu-Jitsu game is also stellar, especially for someone of his ranking (the second-lowest rank, a blue belt), as he has three submission wins in nine career fights.
I think this fight really comes down to who will have the better grappling. I feel like that is a wash, so I'd have no choice but to lean toward experience. That means, of course, Evans. He has out-grappled the likes of Silva and Jackson, and while they aren't the best on the ground in their division, they're significantly better than Davis' past fighters.
I trust Davis' chin and striking to keep him alive for the fight, but I'll say Evans gets this one.
Evans defeats Davis by unanimous decision.